EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Easthampton has approved a first-of-its-kind resolution designed to fight anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism has been rising over the past few years, but just in the past 40 or so days it has skyrocketed, and people here in western Massachusetts are looking to make a change.
Seeing a rise in hate towards Jewish people, six months ago Easthampton City Councilor Owen Zaret started drafting a resolution against anti-Semitism. Then on October 7th, a massive terrorist act killed well over 1,000 Jews in Israel and has since ignited a war. The anti-Semitism that Zaret and the Jewish community saw in western Massachusetts and America a few months ago, has only grown then since then.
“I felt it was my obligation to bring attention to these statistics as well as lay out action plays to educate around them and address them,” said Zaret.
Easthampton’s resolution lays out a comprehensive action plan across the community, government, law enforcement, and schools to recognize, educate, protect, and respond to anti-Semitism. It passed unanimously in front of a full house of supporters on Tuesday.
The Jewish Federations of North America’s most recent poll found that around 70 percent of Jewish Americans feel less safe now than they did a few months ago, and unfortunately they have reason to.
“I know that there are people out there in the Jewish community that are afraid to show their Judaism,” said Bobby Naimark of the Jewish Federation of western Massachusetts.
The Jewish Federal of western Massachusetts hopes the resolution passed in Easthampton will serve as a template across the Commonwealth and beyond.
“Other communities can use this as a framework to not only use it for anti-Semitism but also for islamophobia and other forms of hate,” said Naimark.
Everyone 22News spoke to about anti-Semitism said that no matter how people feel politically about what’s going on in the Middle East, there is no excuse ever for any form of hate.