Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, called for political leaders to denounce antisemitism even when it comes from their side.
“I continue to be very concerned about the politicization of our response to antisemitism—the discomfort people have in standing up to antisemitism when it comes from their own partisan and ideological compatriots,” he said. “We need progressives to call out antisemitism on the left as forcefully as they call out white supremacy. We need conservatives…to call out antisemitism on the right as forcefully as they call out progressive-left antisemitism hiding behind criticism of Israel.”
Asked about events in Israel that might impact perceptions of the country abroad, such as the upcoming elections, Burton replied: “I would separate that from the antisemitism conversation. I am under no illusions. We are not the causes of antisemitism. There may be criticism of Israeli policies, Israeli actions, that can be made without antisemitism. Those who choose to engage in antisemitism are not doing it because Israel is good or bad, but because they choose to engage in antisemitism. We should never blame ourselves as a community for antisemitism.”