Morgan Griffith: Anti-Semitism has no place in America

morgan griffithI have been discouraged by an increase in anti-Semitism during recent months. The most horrifying example was the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October, but anti-Semitic rhetoric has also become more commonplace in public life.

Often, this hate is directed at our close ally, Israel. Treating a steadfast friend and the only democracy in the Middle East with such vitriol is disgusting. I strongly believe Israel has a right to exist, but many, including some in Congress, unfortunately call this right into question.

We have an obligation to fight the scourge of prejudice against people of the Jewish faith. The House of Representatives recently passed an amendment offered by Republicans to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms. I strongly supported this action.

I also cosponsored a resolution last year commemorating the anniversary of moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Israel has the right, as any sovereign nation does, to designate its own capital, and U.S. policy should respect its choice.

Anti-Semitism is a betrayal of the values we hold dear as Americans. As we honor George Washington’s birthday in February, it is worthwhile to recall the first president’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. The congregation had joined the other citizens of Newport in welcoming Washington for a visit in 1790. When he wrote a reply thanking them for their hospitality, he restated his commitment to religious liberty and offered the following wishes:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.

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