Taking Anti-Semitism Seriously

Continued education and understanding of cultural groups are needed across our community. Last month, anti-Semitic flyers were dispersed across the Mesa on the first day of Hanukkah. This was a coordinated effort that occurred in the 2nd District that Laura Capps represents and is compounded by the horrific displays of anti-Semitism across the country. Like many, we were disheartened, frustrated, and ready to support our community members. Thank you to the courageous leadership of the Jewish community, in particular Dan Meisel, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Santa Barbara Tri-Counties, for helping us all find ways to do better.

In the vein of education and understanding, supervisors Laura Capps and Joan Hartmann have collaborated on a resolution in advance of this week’s Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, January 27. The resolution honors the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. Within the resolution, we remind our community about the history, facts, and devastation of the Holocaust; the state-sponsored, systemic persecution; and the annihilation of European Jewish peoples by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. The victims of this devastation included six million Jewish people, including children. Additional victims of the holocaust included Ashkenazy and Sephardic Jewish communities, Roma peoples, people with disabilities, Polish peoples, LGBTQ+ individuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents, journalists, and judges. All of these groups suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny.

When anti-Semitic flyers are dispersed, we take them seriously. When continued hate incidents occur in our schools, we take them seriously. Our community will not be defined by the actions of a few. Rather we are a community defined by our stance against anti-Semitism, hatred, and violent acts against all of our vibrant communities. Our offices will continue to support and collaborate with our cultural communities with education, understanding, and inclusion. We challenge our community members to take a stand, reach out in support and work together to build a region where all can thrive.

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