WE CHOOSE HOPE OVER FEAR
A Letter to Vice President Biden from American Jewish Leaders
September 18, 2020
Vice President Joe Biden
Biden for President
PO Box 58174
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Dear Vice President Biden,
When you accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination, you declared: “Choose hope over fear.”
Those four words embody why we, as American Jewish leaders, strongly support your candidacy for president. Those words sum up why we look forward to the day that you will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States.
In this spirit of partnership, we are pleased to share with you this website: “Israel and Antisemitism: Policy at the Nexus of Two Critical Issues.” The site contains resources on how you and your administration can effectively combat antisemitism and show leadership in achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the coming months, we will offer specific policy recommendations to address the challenges related to the nexus of Israel and antisemitism.
We believe that our current president thrives on fear and on fanning the flames of hatred, extremism, and antisemitism. You often mention how you saw this at Charlottesville, where the malicious forces of hatred were empowered. America was tested that day, and the president failed in his response. You saw his failure as an inflection point for the nation and one that must be directly confronted with clear, moral leadership that takes a stand against antisemitism and all forms of hatred. We agree, and we will be your allies in promoting “the light, not the darkness.”
A spirit of unity has infused everything you have done since securing the nomination. You have turned to other Democrats so that your administration’s policies will reflect and respect the range of perspectives within our party. You have created unity task forces to develop policies that tackle the critical challenges facing our country. We bring this spirit of unity to our endeavor in the hope that we can help solidify the progressive coalition that is needed to face the challenges of combatting antisemitism and resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Whereas you value solidarity and harmony, the current president prefers to foment discord and conflict. Over the course of his administration, we have witnessed the perverse conversion of legitimate concerns about antisemitism into political weapons designed to create rifts within our own community, between us and other Americans, and to serve the narrow political interests of the far right.
Turning antisemitism into a partisan issue has not helped the Jewish community in America nor our ally Israel. In fact, it has done the reverse, eroding the prospect of achieving an equitable peace with the Palestinian people and stoking racism, white nationalism, and antisemitism here at home.
Mr. Vice President, under your leadership our nation can heal. We can confront the monumental issues on our country’s broad agenda, including those related to the nexus of Israel and antisemitism. We commit to both supporting and partnering with you in speaking out against efforts to fuel division in our nation. We know that, under your leadership, these divisive and dangerous efforts will ultimately fail because there is far more that unites us as Americans than divides us. We stand ready to support your administration’s agenda of social uplift and national healing.
We are with you, we believe in you, and we enthusiastically support you.
The signatories of this letter added their names as individuals, not as representatives of organizations. Their signatures do not imply agreement with the contents of this website.
Organizational affiliation listed in the biographies are for identification purposes only.