Jackson Pincus, Assistant Director, AJC Seattle
Kitsap Sun

The Bremerton City Council did the right thing on January 17, when it unanimously voted to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism in response to an incident of vile hate speech targeting our local Jewish community. It was essential that the definition adopted by the City was one supported by most Jews- and IHRA has the support of every major Jewish organization in the world.

Definitions are only as good as their uses, however. American Jewish Committee was one of the major Jewish organizations responsible for crafting this definition almost two decades ago, and I call on City institutions and local organizations to lean on some of the resources we have helped develop so that this definition can be utilized most effectively.

No person or group should feel unsafe or unwelcome in Bremerton, and we must recognize that means that each of our city’s constituent communities also has a responsibility to support the others. When one part of Bremerton is attacked, we must all stand united in response.

To that end, other minority groups in Bremerton made clear during the IHRA debate that they too have concerns they would like the city to address. I believe the city must make a concerted effort to not just hear their voices, but to act to address their concerns, just as they did for the Jewish community. We cannot, and should not, be the only ones whose fears are taken seriously. So let us move forward. Together.

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