Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, today, sent a letter to Mayor James M. Cahill and other city of New Brunswick and NJ state officials to voice concern about a pro-Palestinian rally at New Brunswick’s Monument Square Park planned for tomorrow, February 8, 2024 - while Federation's Security Initiatives proactively coordinated with law enforcement and Jewish communal and private security contacts on behalf of public safety relating to the rally.
This is the kind of Federation advocacy and security work that has intensified locally since antisemitism spiked following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on citizens in Israel.
To the Honorable Mayor James M. Cahill,
My name is Dan Rozett, Director of Community Relations at Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey serving the Jewish Community of Greater Middlesex and Monmouth Counties.
I was recently made aware of a rally planned for February 8 at 4pm at New Brunswick’s Monument Square Park to “honor the martyrs of the genocide in Palestine” as mentioned on the marketing material for this event.
The Jewish Community respects free speech for all, and supports the democratic right of all citizens to express their opinion, however, the organization behind this rally, the Voice for Humanity Project, spreads antisemitism and dangerous lies, via its social media.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism adopted by the United States, and other countries and institutions around the world, states that, while legitimate criticism of the Israeli government is NOT antisemitism, the following is;
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
The messaging put out by the Voice for Humanity Project is antisemitic as defined by the IHRA definition, inciteful, and fuels anti-Israel sentiment aimed at Jews in this country and our local New Jersey communities, creating a demoralizing and unsafe situation.
I respectfully ask that the City of New Brunswick publicly condemn the antisemitism demonstrated by the Voice for Humanity Project and consider canceling the rally to prevent violence against the Jewish community.
I am happy to discuss further and can be reached on my cell phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Director of Community Relations at Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey
CC: Matthew Montekio, District Director at Office of U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone
NJ Senator Bob Smith, NJ-17
NJ Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, NJ-17
NJ Assemblyman Kevin P. Egan, NJ-17
Rabbi Phillip Bazeley, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple
Susan Antman, Executive Director, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey
Amy Keller, Director of Security Initiatives, Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey
JOIN JEWISH FEDERATION IN CONTACTING CITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK MAYOR CAHILL TO VOICE YOUR CONCERN.