AJC Seattle Director Regina Friedland welcomed Mayor Jenny Durkan’s stated commitment to combat anti-Semitism in Seattle and to thoroughly investigate the vile threats against Ari Hoffman, a candidate for the City Council.

Mayor Durkan’s statement came this afternoon in a letter she sent to Friedland in response to an AJC statement issued a week ago.

“I want to thank you for all you do to better Seattle, and to join you to make clear in the strongest possible terms that I condemn and reject any anti-Semitic attacks and threats of violence on Mr. Hoffman and his family,” Mayor Durkan wrote to Friedland. “Any threats, especially those with bias, will be investigated and will not be tolerated in Seattle.”

In her June 11 statement, Friedland called on Mayor Durkan to condemn unequivocally, without delay, the ongoing threats against Hoffman and his family, and for law enforcement authorities to initiate a criminal investigation into the threats. “Noxious threats against any candidate for elected office and his family are abhorrent, even more so when the venomous rhetoric is blatantly anti-Semitic,” said Friedland.

The Mayor noted in her letter to AJC that “the initial reports were sent directly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a Seattle Police Department detective assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating these acts. We will continue to work closely with our local and federal law enforcement partners as these threats are investigated.”

“No matter differing views or divergent opinions, we must have civility in our public discourse. Seattle is not immune to the rising levels of toxicity overtaking our national discourse. While we may share a difference of opinions on issues, we cannot allow hate to become embedded in our dialogue,” Mayor Durkan stated in her letter to AJC’s Friedland.

Friedland welcomed the detailed letter from Mayor Durkan. “AJC looks forward to working closely with the Mayor’s Office and relevant city departments to develop and implement a coordinated, effective strategy to combat anti-Semitism in our city,” said Friedland.

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