This ad ran Thursday, November 1st in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An Open Letter to America about Antisemitism

The massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh on October 27th stands as an assault on the lives and inherent human dignity of every American. It is a direct assault on American values to target people because of who they are and what they believe.

This mass shooting is a tragedy, but it was not indiscriminate. It is the direct result of rhetoric that demonizes Jews and celebrates political violence.

The shooter’s profile on the Gab social network is rife with anti-Semitic images and messages posted as recently as the morning of the shooting. Two days before the shooting he posted, “There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation.” The shooter reportedly entered the synagogue and shouted, “All Jews must die.

Antisemitism today is not always as overt as the Tree of Life Congregation shooter’s social media posts, but it is rampant, and it has been embraced by President Donald Trump and others with influential positions in our country.

The shooting came after a week of attempted bombings of the homes and offices of American leaders and news organizations across the country. The first person targeted in this spree was philanthropist George Soros, a Holocaust survivor who has become the focus of countless conspiracy theories that frame him as a shadowy enemy plotting to subvert what white nationalists view as “Western civilization.”

Just one day before the shooting, President Trump attacked “globalists” in a speech ostensibly meant to call for unity following the bomb attempts. Audience members yelled out “George Soros!” followed by chants of “lock him up!” President Trump reinforced the message, echoing the phrase ‘lock him up’ from the podium.

Earlier in the week, the National Republican Congressional Committee released an ad claiming a Minnesota House candidate was “owned” by shadowy forces including George Soros. The ad was launched on Wednesday, just two days after a bomb was delivered to Soros’ home.

Earlier this month amidst the Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Associate Justice, Rudy Giuliani retweeted the message, “Follow the money. I think Soros is the anti-Christ! He must go! Freeze his assets & I bet the protests stop.”

These phrases and catch words used to vilify George Soros are in many cases pulled from the age old tropes used to demonize Jews for centuries and are anti-Semitic through and through. They can’t be overlooked nor hidden by claims of legitimate political disagreements.

We know that it is not only the Jewish community that is at risk from unchecked antisemitism, but also other communities that white nationalists target. The Pittsburgh shooter’s social media posts indicate he was motivated by hateful anti-refugee rhetoric often promoted by fear-mongering elected officials. And, Wednesday’s murder of two African Americans in Kentucky is another example of white nationalists’ continued assault on diverse communities. The shooter attempted to enter a predominantly African American church before committing the fatal shootings, and this act of violence is being investigated as a hate crime. We mourn for these victims as well.

Make no mistake. Too many politicians are lending a loudspeaker to antisemitism, and it is dangerous. This shooting wasn’t the beginning stage of anti-Semitic hate; it was its logical evolution. This weekend it motivated a man to gun down worshippers for no other reason than that they were Jews. We can’t bring them back, but we can speak out against the antisemitism that led to their deaths.

We can pledge to raise our voices against any politician who campaigns on antisemitism. We can commit to vote against antisemitism on November 6th.

Any candidate’s notion of a path to victory on November 6th that rests on white nationalist anti-Semitic hate must become a strategy they will come to long regret. It’s on us to ensure that they do.

584 people have signed the open letter & pledged to vote against antisemitism. Join them!

Full List of Open Letter Signers

*Organizations listed for affiliation purposes only

Mikaela Seligman, Executive Director, Achieve Mission

Stewart Kwoh, President & Executive Director, Advancing Justice - LA

Aarti Kohli, Executive Director, Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus

Richard L. Trumka, President, AFL-CIO

Ted Kirsch, President, AFT Pennsylvania

Sarai Jael & Portillo Suarez, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice

Oscar Chacon, Executive Director, Alianza Americas

Rev. Dr. Samuel J. López, Co-Pastor, Amazing Love Sanctuary

Rev. Dr. Jessica Drees-Buchanan, Co- Pastor, Amazing Love Sanctuary

Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice

J. David Cox, National President, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO

Lee Saunders, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Kathy Ko Chin, President & CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Helen Hsu, President, Asian American Psychological Association

John Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Andy Kang, Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago

Alvina Yeh, Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

Jeff Caballero, Executive Director, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations

Halimah DeOliveira, Founder, Be You In HD, LLC

Opal Tometi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Alicia Garza, Principal, Black Futures Lab

Janet McClenahan, Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Sue Philley, Social Action Team Member, Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Emmie Schlobohm, Director of Family Ministries, Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Samantha Gladu, Executive Director, Bus Project

Asma Rehman, National Chapter Manager, CAIR

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Executive Director, CAIR Georgia

Jim Sues, Executive Director, CAIR New Jersey

Jacob Bender, Executive Director, CAIR Philadelphia

Zohra Lasania, Program Director, CAIR Pittsburgh

Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, CAIR San Francisco Bay Area

Masih Fouladi, Executive Director, CAIR Washington State

Imraan Siddiqi, Executive Director, CAIR-Arizona

Maira Sheikh, Executive Director, CAIR-Austin

Karen Dabdoub, Executive Director, CAIR-Cincinnati

Faizan Syed, Executive Director, CAIR-Missouri

Jennifer Nimer, Executive Director, CAIR-Ohio, Columbus Chapter

Basim Elkarra, Executive Director, CAIR-Sacramento Valley

Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA-MD

Andrea Williams, Executive Director, CAUSA Oregon

Karen Musalo, Director, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Scot Nakagawa, Senior Partner, Change Lab

Ameer Elnager, Refugee Community Organizer, Church World Service

Svante Myrick, Mayor, City of Ithaca

Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

Nabeeh Hasan, Director, Colorado Muslim Speakers Bureau

Chris Shelton, President, Communications Worker of America

Jay Moseley, Board Chair, Community Alliance of Lane County, Oregon

Dorian Warren, President, Community Change Action

Kuhio Lewis, CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

Nihad Awad, National Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations

Robert McCaw, National Government Affairs Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations

Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA)

K. Sabeel Rahman, President, Dēmos

Natalie Foster, Co-chair, Economic Security Project

Rachel La Zar, El Centro, NM

Rev. Alvin Herring, Executive Director, Faith in Action

Musimbi Kanyoro, CEO & President, Global Fund for Women

Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano

Inhe Choi, Executive Director, HANA Center

Jose Calderon, President, Hispanic Federation

Jonathon Heller, Co-Director, Human Impact Partners

Jay Brown, Acting Senior Vice President, HRC Programs, Research & Trainings, Human Rights Campaign

Rob Berschinski, Senior Vice President, Human Rights First

Zahid Bukhari, Executive Director, ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNA CSJ)

Eric Cohen, Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Angel Padilla, Policy Director, Indivisible

Hassan Jama, Executive Director, Islamic Association of North America

Maha Elgenaidi, Executive Director, Islamic Networks Group

David Inoue, Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League

Sarita Gupta, Co-Executive Director, Jobs with Justice

Erica Smiley, Co-Executive Director, Jobs with Justice

Jonathan Paik, Executive Director, Korean Resource Center

Jonathan Vorasane, Chair, Laotian American National Alliance

Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel, LatinoJustice

Domingo Garcia, National President, LULAC

Rev. Cedric Harmon, Executive Director, Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender (LGBTQ) Justice

Eva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Andrew Potter, Executive Director, Michigan Corrections Organization

Billy Wimsatt, Movement Voter Project

Anna Galland & Ilya Sheyman, Co-Executive Directors, MoveOn

Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, MPower Change

Leon Russell, Chair, NAACP

Becky Belcore, Co-Director, NAKASEC

Myron Quon, Executive Director, NAPAFASA

Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Sungyeon Choimorrow, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

Lauri Ng, Senior Policy Advisor, National CAPACD

Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)

Lily Eskelsen García, President, National Education Association (NEA)

Saket Soni, Executive Director, National Guestworker Alliance

Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center

Rae Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

Josh Hoyt, Executive Director, National Partnership for New Americans

Stephanie Stephens, Campaign Manager, National Partnership for New Americans

Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center

Seham Abdala, Director, NJ Islamic Networks Group

Andrea Dehlendorf, Co Executive Director, OUR Walmart

Caitlin Brune, CEO, Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust

Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer, PEN America

Sundrop Carter, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Michael Keegan, President & CEO, People For the American Way

George Goehl, Director, People's Action

Nina Esposito-Visgitis, President, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers

Tarso Luís Ramos, Executive Director, Political Research Associates

Aparna Shah & Luis Sanchez, Co-Executive Directors, Power California

Bob Fulkerson, State Director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Petra Falcon, Promise Arizona

Glenn Harris, President, Race Forward

Molly Gochman, Founder, Red Sand Project

Iimay Ho, Executive Director, Resource Generation

Stuart Applebaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)

Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Erin Heaney, Co-Director, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Maricela Gutierrez, Executive Director, SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network)

Kathy McShane, Director, Sisters of St. Joseph Welcome Center

Mijo Lee, Executive Director, Social Justice Fund NW

Sunflower Community Action, Somos un Pueblo Unido

Mayra Alvarez, President, The Children’s Partnership

Susan Corke, Fellow, The German Marshall Fund

Vanita Gupta, President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Alan Jenkins, President, The Opportunity Agenda

Erendira Rendon, The Resurrection Project

Jillian Barousse, SIREN, Director of Civic Engagement, The Street Trust

Ruth Elder, Founding Member, Thurston Diversity Council

The Rev. Arthur Stevens, Trinity Episcopal Church

Shaunna Thomas, Executive Director, UltraViolet

Adrienne Evans, Executive Director, United Action for Idaho

Arturo Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers

Marc Perrone, International President, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers

Fred Redmond, Vice-President, United Steelworkers

Tom Conway, Vice-President, United Steelworkers

Stanley Johnson, Secretary Treasure, United Steelworkers

Adrienne Evans, Executive Director, United Vision for Idaho

Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity

Nancy Nguyen, Executive Director, VietLead

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director, Voces de la Frontera

Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino

Rachel Peric, Executive Director, Welcoming America

Eric K. Ward, Executive Director, Western States Center

Surina Khan, CEO, Women's Foundation of California

Maurice Mitchell, National Director, Working Families Party