Rabbi Weiner responds to the the need for supportive allies and city leaders in this time of increasing anti-Semitism.
By Daniel A. Weiner | The Seattle Times | Dec 2, 2019
The unqualified support of countless voices from around the world bore out the loving affirmation of the majority over the cowardly cravenness of the marginal.
Anti-Semitism is significantly and unquestionably on the rise. Even among the many vicious acts and inciting words characteristic of these tumultuous, Trumpian times, the marked increase in what many assert as the “oldest of hatreds” is a return to a troubling trope in our history. The statistics, media coverage and lived experience of American Jews reinforce this perception as reality.
And yet, there are many within our society, supportive allies and principled civic leaders, who have spoken out and acted against the resurgence of this dark specter. While I have worked closely with Regina Friedland, director of the American Jewish Committee, Seattle region, and respect her efforts, I take issue with her overgeneralized indictment of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s responsiveness to recent anti-Jewish bigotry [“Why are Seattle’s leaders silent about anti-Semitism?” Nov. 23, Opinion].
The photo used with her piece documented the toxic tagging of our synagogue in 2017. The unqualified support of countless voices from around the world bore out the loving affirmation of the majority over the cowardly cravenness of the marginal. And most critically, Mayor Durkan and the Seattle Police Department responded immediately, as they did after the October 2018 Pittsburgh shootings, with calls of support, provision of resources and a reassuring presence. To claim that a failure to issue news releases in every instance of vandalism, hate speech and threat is an abdication of responsibility in calling out and acting against anti-Semitism is a gross mischaracterization.