March 7, 2019
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in response to passage of today’s House Resolution condemning hatred and bigotry:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) applauds the United States House of Representatives for passing a comprehensive resolution condemning antisemitism and anti-Muslim bigotry.
“The following paragraph regarding antisemitic accusations of ‘dual loyalty’ is critically important:
‘Whereas accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted
neighbors,when Jews have loyally served our Nation every day since its founding, whether in public or community life or military service.’
“This paragraph was necessary because of Rep. Omar’s comments on Feb. 27, accusing Jewish Americans of pushing for ‘allegiance to a foreign country.’ Those comments appalled the JCRC given the historical antisemitism they invoked and my illustration to Rep. Omar of the profound patriotism of American Jews with a picture of my cousin’s grave – who was killed in action in November 1944 – in the American military cemetery in Lorraine, France.
“The following paragraph is also critically important, given the disgusting poster seeking to falsely associate Rep. Omar with the 9/11 attacks:
‘Whereas Muslims and people perceived to be Muslim are subjected to false and dangerous stereotypes and myths including unfair allegations that they sympathize with individuals who engage in violence or terror or support the oppression of women, Jews, and other vulnerable communities.’
“Additionally, we appreciate the wisdom in the following paragraph, and agree that Jews and Muslims of good will in Minnesota and around the world must unite in opposition to all forms of hatred and bigotry:
‘Whereas all Americans, including Jews, Muslims, and Christians and people of all faiths and no faith, have a stake in fighting anti-Semitism, as all Americans have a stake in fighting every form of bigotry and hatred against people based on religion, race, or place of birth and origin.’
“The JCRC is deeply thankful to Rep. Dean Phillips for his leadership and friendship throughout this difficult process. Rep. Phillips, who played a key role in drafting this consensus resolution, said today:
‘I am pleased with the resolution for which I voted this afternoon in the US House of Representatives. We must be vigilant in the face of hate, and relentless in the pursuit of ending all its dangerous forms – be it antisemitism, Islamophobia or bigotry of any kind.’”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.