Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu introduced a resolution Wednesday that calls for the city to urge the FBI to create a task force to investigate the rising tide of anti-Semitic hate crimes and to give more support to Jewish Angelenos.
“Growing up in Los Angeles, one of the things I valued most about my city was its diversity and inclusion of all people, no matter what they looked like, how they prayed or who they loved,” said Ryu, who recently became the first Asian American to serve as assistant mayor pro tempore.
“The (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community is no stranger to hate and discrimination. I think we feel a shared call to root out hate in all its forms, to protect our diverse cultural fabric and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors facing unprecedented attacks,” he said. “An attack against one of us is an attack against us all.”
Ryu released a letter that he signed, with 20 Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations as co-signers, that calls for the support.
“Our communities are neighbors. We share similar values and similar stories of struggle, sacrifice and resilience,” the letter states. “As leaders in the AAPI community, we recognize that the times are dangerous and demand that we stand together and do more to fight against these hateful acts. Don’t just speak, put it into action.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles welcomed the support.
“We are very grateful to Councilmember Ryu and the leadership of the AAPI community who are expressing solidarity with the Jewish community at a time when it is experiencing unprecedented levels of violent anti-semitic hate crimes and rhetoric,” Cooper said. “We especially appreciate that Councilmember Ryu is adding his voice and leadership to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s call for the FBI to create a special task force on anti-Semitism, to try to take direct action against this rising menace.”
According to statistics provided by Ryu’s office from the Anti-Defamation League, there were 1,879 attacks against Jewish people and institutions in the United States in 2018, the third-highest year on record since the ADL began tracking such data in the 1970s.
The letter and resolution come after numerous anti-Semitic attacks across the United States, including in the San Diego County community of Poway; Monsey, New York; and Jersey City. In December, a Beverly Hills synagogue was vandalized.
The resolution will be heard by the City Council’s Rule’s, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee before it is considered by the full council.
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