[New York, NY – October 19th, 2021] The American Jewish Congress is encouraged by the decision of the Board of Education of Cobb County, Georgia to pass a resolution condemning antisemitism, following last month’s appearance of hate symbols and messages in two different Cobb County public schools. This rejection of antisemitic hate is a welcome first step, however, the persistence of the problem calls for more follow-up action.

Shockingly, current political discourse risks heightening and fueling more incidents like this, especially in Georgia, a state which has recently seen multiple cases of antisemitism and Holocaust distortion. Actions such as the constant trivialization of the Holocaust by Georgia’s U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s failure to vociferously condemn the swastika’s use serve to reinforce negative models of what is acceptable and normalized in our society. These are alarm bells for Georgia’s Jewish community and all those committed to fighting hate and antisemitism. 

Swastikas and “Heil Hitler” messages were found at both the Lassiter High School and at Alan C. Pope High School during the Jewish High Holidays. Last month’s incidents attest to the growing presence on university campuses of such hate symbols like the Nazi swastika, the vilest of symbols in human history. Their use displays a shocking ignorance of the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people.

It is time to treat antisemitism with the urgency that it merits. To do that, we need bold leadership in our schools and by political leaders. Much more remains to be done.

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.