Unity in the Face of Antisemitism
By Allison Padilla-Goodman
Vice President, ADL Southern Division
Jews harassed with antisemitic slurs as they walk down the street. Synagogues vandalized and receiving antisemitic threats. Jews stalked and assaulted for no other reason than for being Jewish. Online antisemitic content reaching new heights on social media platforms, with an ADL analysis identifying 17,000 tweets using variations of the phrase “Hitler was right” in a single week.
These are just a few of the painful examples of the dangerous escalation of antisemitism in the U.S. in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict last month. In fact, antisemitic incidents reported to ADL increased by 75 percent during the conflict.
The anxiety around antisemitism is real and ADL took action. In response to these disturbing trends, dozens of national organizations joined forces with ADL and Jewish Federations of North America on May 27 in a virtual Day of Action to #ActAgainstAntisemitism. It was tremendous.
We saw the power of unity in action, with 33,500 participants and thousands of letters sent to members of Congress from across the country to support Jewish communities. We heard from leaders from across the country, who clearly and emphatically condemned antisemitism. These are certainly challenging times when it comes to antisemitism and hatred, yet this rally proved that American Jews will not let the narrative of hatred overwhelm us. Rather, these key moments of solidarity from our friends, and the unity demonstrated within our community, will define who we are and how we continue to persevere.
All of this is coming on the heels of several years of historically high rates of antisemitism. Last year’s ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents revealed the third highest year of antisemitic incident data in our audit’s history. ADL saw sharp increases in antisemitic harassment and the hateful innovation of Zoombombing — two trends we certainly witnessed here in Atlanta last year, over and over again. It can all be overwhelming.
This is why we must take action. We all must continue to speak up in the media, in Congress, and in our circles, both online and in person. We must never let antisemitism and hatred become normalized. We all must continue to share facts and ensure that everyone understands antisemitism and its impact. We all must continue to show strength and continue to lean into our community and allies as we did at the May 27 virtual rally. Together we must show the world that antisemitism will not be tolerated.
ADL is here for you. Learn more about our work in the Southeast at https://atlanta.adl.org/ .