From #EndJewHatred Day to the Celebrate Israel Parade
By Brooke Goldstein
May 26, 2022
April 29 has been proclaimed #EndJewHatred Day in the 38th State Senate District of New York.
Most years – this one included – April 29 lands fairly close to Israel’s birthday.
74 years ago, Israel declared her independence. 74 years ago, Jews rose up from the ashes of the Holocaust to found our own nation, recognized by the world as a Jewish home.
74 years later we are still fighting the same battles.
For 74 years (and thousands more) the Jewish community has been subjected to Jew-hatred – discrimination and violence targeting us for our religious, cultural, ethnic, and national identities. Taken further, those who hate us for who we are also deny and appropriate our history, including our indigenous connection to our ancestral homeland. Jews are targeted in the workplace for their Zionist identities, which is intrinsic to their cultural, ethnic, and religious beliefs.
Just last week, Representative Rashida Tlaib led a group of progressives in introducing a resolution that would identify Palestinian Arabs as the “indigenous inhabitants” of Israel, endorsing the right of “return” for Arabs which has been a hot button issue in the conflict for years. The resolution would also force the US to recognize what Arabs call Nakba — the mass exodus of Arabs following the Israeli War of Independence that they refer to as a catastrophe. Jarringly, the resolution does not acknowledge any Jewish history in the region.
Nakba Day - Image from Christian Science Monitor
Despite the outrage that we feel when our religious and cultural heritage is attacked, as Jews we keep our heads held high, always endeavoring to better ourselves and the world around us. Time and again we have fought against discrimination and bigotry, participating prominently in virtually every civil rights effort featured throughout the American experience. The Jewish community has been front and center in advocating for social, economic, and political causes of every kind. We have helped achieve results for racial justice and gender equality, and for minority rights movements that have altered the public discourse.
We have stood up for every oppressed community that has demanded justice and equality. Now it’s our turn.
“We need to declare once and for all what needs to happen in the most simple words that we can find. We need to End Jew Hatred. That is our pledge. That is our declaration.” Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
We had the privilege of marching up Fifth Avenue in New York City, full of pride in our identity and our connection to our indigenous homeland in Israel.
We also marched for a cause: to fight anti-Jewish bigotry and violence, and to end Jew-hatred once and for all.
We are not an organization. We are a movement. A cause. A message.
During the parade, as people were cheering us on, it was clear that our message is being heard.
We must #EndJewHatred in our lifetime.