by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Jerusalem, June 10, 2015 – Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and director, issued the following statement praising U.S. Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA 30) for calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to adopt the State Department definition of anti-Semitism:
“Anti-Semitism is escalating at an alarming rate from coast to coast. These anti-Semitic incidents often follow divisive BDS campaigns where Israelis are compared to Nazis, Israel is held to standards not expected of other countries and Israel’s right to exist is flat out denied. The State Department definition of anti-Semitism addresses the unique nature of contemporary Jew hatred by recognizing that anti-Israel criticism can cross the line into this type of anti-Semitism, and when it does it must be called out for what it is. We applaud Representative Sherman for addressing this head on and for repeatedly standing up for Jewish students. Representative Sherman’s courage and leadership in Congress is invaluable.”
AMCHA Initiative is one of 23 groups that earlier this spring called on the University of California (UC) to adopt the U.S. State Department definition, which acknowledges that anti-Israel rhetoric can cross the line into anti-Semitism. AMCHA also delivered petitions signed by nearly 700 UC professors, UC alumni and California rabbis to the UC Regents recently urging them to adopt the U.S. State Department definition.
This past semester, student governments at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara unanimously approved resolutions that strongly condemn anti-Semitism. And recently the California Senate unanimously passed SCR-35, a resolution condemning anti-Semtism. In identifying anti-Semitic activity, the student resolutions and SCR-35 invoke the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, which recognizes the variety of anti-Semitic expression that Jewish students experience on campus.
AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in California, dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America.
Contact: Nicole Rosen