Posted on: June 2, 2021 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

I am proud to announce that I am one of over 300 Jewish leaders who came together to make it absolutely clear that we stand strong against antisemitism, and that we will not allow it to distract us from our work supporting Palestinians rights. Some of the signatories include Ady Barkan, Lara Friedman, Ariel Gold, Dove Kent, Hadar Susskind, Mik Moore, Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon, Dave Zirin, Eric Levitz, Kate Aronoff, Judith Butler, Amos Goldberg, Hasia Diner, Molly Crabapple, Wallace Shawn, Emma Seligman and many other prominent names, including many I have had the honor of calling dear friends and colleagues for many years like Rebecca Vilkomerson, Joel Beinin, Rabbi Deb Kolodny, Simone Zimmerman, Penny Rosenwasser, Phyllis Bennis, Charles Lenchner, David Mandel, Sarah Anne Minkin, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Alice Rothchild, Cindy Shamban, Eli Valley, Dylan Williams, and Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman.

The letter is powerful and I hope you will share it widely. It can be found here.

Below is the press release that accompanied it.


June 2, 2021


300 Jewish Leaders say: “We won’t be distracted or divided”

50+ Rabbis, dozens of leaders of American Jewish organizations, renowned academics and journalists,
best-selling authors, and stars of music, film and art commit to dismantling antisemitism and defending
Palestinian liberation

June 2, 2021: Over 300 well-known Jewish leaders from across the U.S. issued a public letter
condemning all forms of antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism, and pledged to continue their work to
support Palestinian liberation. “We will not be pitted against each other. Together we can stop the
machinery of division and fear used to keep us isolated and vulnerable. We won’t be distracted from our
fight for freedom and safety for all people.”

Signers include social justice activists Ady Barkan, Evan Weber, Leah Greenberg and Heather Booth, as
well as dozens of leaders from Jewish organizations like Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ),
Mitsui Collective, Jewish Youth for Community Action, Black Jewish Liberation Collective, J Street,
IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Over 50 Rabbis and rabbinical students signed the letter, along with authors Ayelet Waldman, Moriel
Rothman-Zecher and Michael Chabon; journalists Dave Zirin, Eric Levitz and Kate Aronoff; professors
Judith Butler, Amos Goldberg and Hasia Diner; and artists and performers Molly Crabapple, Wallace
Shawn and Emma Seligman.

Penned in response to recent attempts to claim a direct correlation between the growing movement for
Palestinian freedom and violent incidents against Jews, the letter points out that, “Supporters of the
Israeli government— including some in the American Jewish establishment—are misrepresenting fringe
and widely-condemned acts of individual antisemitism as characteristic of the broader Palestinian human
rights movement.” Further, these Jewish leaders insist, “We support our Palestinian siblings’ right to
describe their lived experiences without being accused of antisemitism. Even if their terms make us
uncomfortable or we disagree with their analysis, we refuse to be more outraged by the words
Palestinians use than the actual violence they endure.”

The signers of the letter commit to standing up against anti-Palestinian racism, speaking boldly against
Israel’s continued oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people, and fighting for freedom and
safety for all people.

Rabbi Miriam Grossman, signer: “When Palestinians cry out against their own oppression by the State of
Israel, from the siege on Gaza to military occupation, that is not antisemitism. And to tell people they
cannot speak out against their own oppression is an inhumane trap. I am so grateful for the Jewish and
Palestinian leaders who are fighting together for a world were all of us are safe. Antisemitism is
absolutely unacceptable. We will fight it together. And so is the treatment of Palestinians’ lives as
disposable. We will fight it together, too. I am proud to join with so many leaders in saying we know the
only way to freedom is together.”

Ady Barkan, signer: “I signed this letter because my commitments to dismantling antisemitism and to
holding the Israeli government accountable for human rights abuses both come from the same place: a
belief that everyone deserves to be safe and free.”

Dave Zirin, signer: “Hundreds of families of the Palestinians in Gaza who were killed this month are in
mourning. Countless more are still facing expulsion from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. We
must not allow ourselves to be slandered or intimidated away from the growing movement to hold Israel
accountable for ongoing violence and oppression against the Palestinian people. As a Jew, I know that
the fight against antisemitism is inextricably bound with freedom for all oppressed people and that
absolutely includes the Palestinian members of our human family.”


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Link to letter: