Michigan Jewish Democrats Statement on 72 Hours of Antisemitism in America
The Executive Board of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus responds to the Trump administration’s executive order, antisemitic terror attack in Jersey City
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Michigan — “For many Jews, the past 72 hours have encapsulated the existential nature of rising antisemitism in America. On Saturday evening, we witnessed the President of the United States use heinous, antisemitic rhetoric to detail his warped views on Jewish wealth, power, and our connection to Israel in a speech intended to divide our community.
“On Tuesday, we watched in horror as a kosher market in Jersey City was targeted by armed assailants – leaving four people dead – in what officials now describe as an attack motivated by antisemitic hatred.
“And late Tuesday, we were dumbfounded by reporting of a presidential executive order that purported to redefine Judaism as a nationality according to the executive branch’s interpretation of civil rights law. For some, this notion of the government reclassifying American Jews as any nationality other than “American” was frightening, as it echoed precarious moments in Jewish history when governing authorities used the law to strip Jews of their nationality, and pave the way for expulsion or extermination. However, the final text of the executive order does very little to change existing policy or law, let alone reclassify American Jews.
“Nevertheless, the events of the past 72 hours have distilled the deeply troubling political environment in which American Jews now find ourselves. Alongside rising antisemitism on the political extremes, we must also contend with the continued willingness – even zeal – of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to co-opt Jews’ very potent concerns over antisemitism and Israel policy as a fig leaf to distract from their own promulgation of policies and rhetoric driven by xenophobia and white nationalism.
“While we are proud Democrats, we will gladly work with political leaders – of any party – who wish to engage in substantive efforts to protect American Jews and combat antisemitism. But Donald Trump is not a normal political leader. One cannot spew the most noxious tropes of antisemitism on Saturday, declare fighting hatred of Jews their highest priority on Tuesday, and hope to remain a credible partner on antisemitism on Thursday.”
The Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus is the voice of Jewish Michiganders within the Democratic Party - dedicated to combating antisemitism and electing Democrats who share our values. In addition to supporting candidates through its state and federal PACs, MDJC works to strengthen the link between Michigan’s Jews and Democrats through strong communications and public forums, increase Jewish representation in Michigan politics, and advocate for progressive policies that benefit all Michiganders.
CONTACT: Noah Arbit, Chair