ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 216
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
ADOPTED JUNE 14, 2021
Assemblyman ANTHONY S. VERRELLI
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Assemblyman GARY S. SCHAER
District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblywoman CAROL A. MURPHY
District 7 (Burlington)
Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Benson and Assemblywoman Timberlake
Condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Substitute as adopted by the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.
A Concurrent Resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and rejecting attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred.
Whereas, All Americans have a stake in fighting anti-Semitism, as all Americans have a stake in fighting every form of bigotry and hatred against people based on religion, race, country of origin, sexual preference, or identity; and
Whereas, Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred of Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish persons, their property, or both, and toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities; and
Whereas, The Jewish community and other vulnerable populations too frequently have been the victims of assault, threats, vandalism, and other forms of intimidation; and
Whereas, Recently, there has been a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents, physical and verbal, in person and online; and
Whereas, These attacks have occurred at a time when anti-Semitism, hate crimes, and ethnically-motivated and racially-motivated extremism remain at historic highs; and
Whereas, Anti-Semitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and often is used to blame Jews for societal problems. Anti-Semitism is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits; and
Whereas, Contemporary examples of anti-Semitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to: (1) calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion; (2) making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews or the power of Jews as a collective, such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions; (3) accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews; (4) denying the Holocaust and fact, scope, mechanisms, such as gas chambers, or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices of the Holocaust during World War II; (5) accusing the Jews as a people or Israel as a state of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; (6) accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations; (7) denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, such as claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; (8) applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation; (9) using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism, such as claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel, to characterize Israel or Israelis; (10) drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; and (11) holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel; and
Whereas, Manifestations of anti-Semitism also may include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity; however, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic; and
Whereas, The United States Department of State has used a working definition, along with examples, of anti-Semitism since 2010; and
Whereas, On May 26, 2016 the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding working definition of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest; and
Whereas, The definition adopted by the IHRA is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition; and
Whereas, There is clear evidence of increasing incidents and expressions of anti-Semitism throughout the world; and
Whereas, The January 2015 terrorist massacre of 12 people at the offices of “Charlie Hebdo” magazine in Paris, the subsequent killing of four French Jews at a kosher market just hours before the Jewish Sabbath, the closing of Paris’ Grande Synagogue for the first time since World War II, the closing of Jewish schools in Belgium and other European nations, and the fears of ongoing anti-Semitism in Europe’s largest Jewish communities demonstrated to Jews and all people everywhere that Jewish life in France, other European nations, and throughout the world is difficult and uncertain in the face of growing anti-Semitic hatred and violence; and
Whereas, On August 11 and 12, 2017, self-identified neo-Confederates, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klansmen held white supremacist events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they marched on a synagogue under the Nazi swastika, engaged in racist and anti-Semitic demonstrations, and committed brutal and deadly violence against peaceful Americans; and
Whereas, On October 27, 2018, the perpetrator of the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the history of the United States killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and reportedly stated that he “wanted all Jews to die”; and
Whereas, On April 27, 2019, a gunman armed with an AR-15 style rifle fired shots inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California, on the last day of the Jewish Passover holiday, killing one woman and injuring three other people; and
Whereas, On December 10, 2019, a shooting was perpetrated at a kosher grocery store located in the Greenville section of Jersey City, New Jersey and five people were killed at the store, including the two assailants; additionally, the assailants wounded one customer and two police officers and a Jersey City Police Department detective was shot and killed by the assailants at a nearby cemetery just before the grocery store attack; and
Whereas, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal stated that evidence indicated the attacks were acts of hate and domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs; and
Whereas, In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported an increase in hate crimes against Jews or Jewish institutions and found that attacks against Jews or Jewish institutions made up 60.3 percent of all religious-based hate crimes; and
Whereas, Preliminary data from the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General indicates that New Jersey recorded 1,441 incidents in 2020 in which people were threatened, harassed or assaulted because of their disability or racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or gender identity, the most since New Jersey began standardized tracking of hate crimes in 1991; and
Whereas, The preliminary data suggests that the number of anti-Jewish incidents reported for 2020 was 298, or 21 percent of all incidents reported that year; and
Whereas, The latest Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2021, tabulated 2,024 reported anti-Semitic incidents throughout the United States in 2020; and
Whereas, Of those incidents, 205 took place in New Jersey, which would make 2021 the third-highest year on record since the ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1979, with numbers in New Jersey at historic highs; and
Whereas, Anti-Semitism is a challenge to the basic principles of tolerance, pluralism, and democracy and the shared values that bind Americans together; and
Whereas, The First Amendment to the Constitution established the United States as a country committed to the principles of tolerance and religious freedom, and the Fourteenth Amendment established equal protection of the laws as the heart of justice in the United States; and
Whereas, Adherence to these principles is vital to the progress of the American people and the diverse communities and religious groups of the State of New Jersey; and
Whereas, Anti-Semitism, like any kind of hate, is unacceptable in any form; and
Whereas, There must be no caveats or qualifiers when condemning anti-Jewish hate, violence against Jews, and anti-Semitism in all spaces; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):
1. The New Jersey Legislature unequivocally condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and rejects attempts in this State, the United States, and throughout the world to justify anti-Jewish hatred.
2. The New Jersey Legislature applauds leaders in New Jersey, the United States, and throughout the world who have condemned anti-Semitic acts and calls on those who have yet to take firm action against anti-Semitism to do so.
3. The New Jersey Legislature supports expanded Holocaust education programs that increase awareness, counter prejudice, and enhance efforts to teach the universal lessons of the Holocaust, genocide, intolerance, and discrimination.
4. The New Jersey Legislature recommends utilizing the United States Department of State and International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition, along with examples of anti-Semitism, as educational resources, when investigating acts of and collecting data on anti-Semitism.
5. The New Jersey Legislature calls upon the citizens of New Jersey and the State’s government entities to continue their vigilant efforts to prevent and report acts of anti-Semitism, hate crimes and other violations of human rights and religious freedom.
6. Copies of the resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State, the Governor, and to each member of Congress elected from this State.