Yesterday in Jersey City, we were reminded once again of something that shouldn't need reminding: That anti-Semitism is alive, well, and unchecked in America today. We now know that the shooter published anti-Semitic vitriol online—unsurprising, given that the shootout that left 6 people dead occurred primarily in a kosher market. We at the American Jewish Congress want to express our profound sorrow and condolences to the victims, the victim’s families, and the whole Jersey City community. We applaud Mayor Fulop for quickly identifying this as an anti-Semitic attack and Jersey City first responders for their quick and decisive action to minimize the carnage.
Time and time again, anti-Semitic rhetoric online has gone hand-in-hand with acts of hateful violence. Even in New York and New Jersey, among some of the world's most vibrant Jewish communities, anti-Semitic acts of violence have become largely normalized. The question is, could we have done something to stop it?
We can no longer afford to take anti-Semitism, in any form, lightly. This also means holding in check the few politicians who traffic in anti-Semitism and adversely affect the public discourse. In mainstream politics and media, anti-Semitic rhetoric has become normalized once again, giving more legitimacy to the toxic delusions of white supremacists and anti-Semites. We cannot afford to ignore anti-Semitism in any form; there is too much at stake.