WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to voting in support of H.Res. 183, a resolution condemning bigotry and prejudice in all forms, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and white nationalism:
“Political dialogue in this country should come from a point of respect and understanding, free from racism, hatred, anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia. The charge of dual loyalty or allegiance is one of the oldest forms of anti-Semitism; for centuries, Jews in countries around the world have been subjected to these claims. Here in the United States, less than just a century ago, unfounded claims of dual loyalty were the basis for the wrongful incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“It is okay to disagree with Israel’s actions and policies, but these debates must be had without resorting to comments that have dark, anti-Semitic underpinnings. It is not okay to claim that support for Israel is solely because of money or dual loyalty. Regardless of intentions, remarks with these undertones continue to perpetuate anti-Semitic beliefs. Similarly, attacking any individual for their religion, race, or origin is equally wrong. The recent anti-Islamic threats and remarks are disgusting and have no place in our society, let alone political discourse. They are a stark reminder of the hatred and discrimination that communities of color and Muslims face in our country and around the world.“I want to reiterate that we cannot equate criticism of Israel’s policies and actions with anti-Semitism. Dialogue and debate needs to be focused on the substantive issues at hand and should recognize the complexity of the challenges and historical context of the region.”