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StandWithUs Calls on Durham City Council to Unequivocally Condemn Anti-Semitism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19th, 2018
StandWithUs Calls on Durham City Council to Unequivocally Condemn Anti-Semitism


(Durham, NC - April 19th, 2018) - StandWithUs is outraged by anti-Semitic remarks made during public comment at a meeting of the Durham City Council on April 16th, 2018. We call on the City Council to formally and unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism in all of its forms.

In a video from the City Council posted by Legal Insurrection, a member of the Nation of Islam speaks of a "synagogue of Satan" and accuses Jews of having, "an inordinate amount of control" over city politics. The Mayor of Durham condemned the speaker during the meeting, but the City Council has made no statements on the matter.

"These are classic anti-Semitic slurs which have led to oppression and violence against Jews for centuries," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I know that this vile rhetoric cannot be allowed to go unchecked."

This anti-Semitic incident took place before a vote opposing, "police exchanges in any country in which Durham police officers receive military-style training". This was in response to a campaign by local anti-Israel extremist groups, demanding an end to police exchanges programs in Israel. Local police officials and others pointed out that these Israeli programs do not involve any "military-style training," but the Council still decided to single out Israel in their statement.

"This campaign shamelessly exploited divisions in Durham, painting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a black versus white issue and placing all blame on Israel," said Sara Rafel, Executive Director of StandWithUs/Southeast. "They ignored that over half of Israeli Jews would be considered people of color in America, as well as the racist violence promoted by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority."

"It's no surprise that a campaign of hate against Israel inspired blatant anti-Semitism. While I appreciate the Durham mayor speaking out during the meeting, I believe a more formal statement from the City Council is crucial," concluded Rafel.

StandWithUs supports the Jewish and pro-Israel community in Durham, and applauds them for standing up to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel extremism in their city. We will continue to do everything we can to empower activists across the country to stand up to hate and educate their communities about Israel.

About StandWithUs
StandWithUs (SWU) is a sixteen-year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization. Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films, and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their campuses and communities about Israel.
 
Based in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK and Canada. This includes the StandWithUs/Southeast chapter, based in Florida.
 
www.standwithus.com and www.standwithus.co.il  and https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs and https://www.twitter.com/StandWithUs

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