Urge The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to take a Stand Against Roger Waters
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We the undersigned, are all young Jewish Professionals who live and work in the Greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. We are a diverse group, including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular Jews, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. As you are aware, Roger Waters, a leader of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (“BDS”) and a very outspoken anti-Semite (arguably one of the worst anti-Semites of our generation), is scheduled to give three concerts at the Wells Fargo center this week. We are united in our belief in freedom of expression and the idea that artists can criticize policies - domestic, foreign, or international - with which they disagree. Unfortunately, Mr. Waters has, repeatedly and unabashedly, gone far beyond that. His views and actions aren't just limited to criticizing certain Israeli policies; rather, they are openly bigoted and anti-Semitic. A letter sent to him by the Anti-Defamation League, summarizes these actions well (The full letter is here: https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-open-letter-to-roger-waters
We, the young Jewish professionals of Greater Philadelphia who are active in Jewish community life, wish to express our deepest concern and disappointment to the inaction/indifference of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s (“Federation”) response to this unwelcome appearance in the City of Brotherly Love. We have seen Federation protesting, angrily and vociferously the recent uptick in anti-Semitic actions. We were very pleased to see the Jewish community and our allies come together at the Stand Against Hate rally in Independence Park and denounce the anti-Semitic actions that were, at the time, thought to be perpetrated by the Alt-Right and Neo-Nazi groups. That said, we are very saddened and angered by the fact that Federation has not made any attempts besides a very weak and non-committal statement issued today to protest the concerts of Roger Waters, a notorious anti-Semite and Israel hater. Lately, it appears that Federation has been portraying anti-Semitism as a partisan political issue which is extremely dangerous to the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism is A-POLITICAL and should be condemned regardless of whether it comes from the far right or far left, and now, more than ever, our community must stand united in facing it. We are urging Federation, as the official representative of the Jewish Community in Philadelphia, to take immediate and appropriate action against the appearance of Roger Waters., Especially given the recent Pennsylvania legislation signed into law by Governor Wolf (HB 2107) that "prohibits the commonwealth from contracting with any company or organization that engages in an economic boycott against Israel". Although this law may not apply to individuals, the fact that it has passed easily in Pennsylvania and in many other states should make it clear to everyone -- and especially Federation -- that those who promote boycotts of Israel deserve, at the very least, a strong, vocal, immediate, and unanimous condemnation from the Jewish community.
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