Although Reconstructing Judaism has not been asked to participate in the No Fear rally, and has therefore had no opportunity to participate in its messaging or planning, we endorse it in principle because we are firmly opposed to antisemitism and, in our efforts to foster engaged and substantive Jewish life and in our tikkun olam and public square work, we act continuously to counter it. We believe that antisemitism is a scourge that must be forcefully denounced. We also understand clearly the importance of forming coalitions to fight against hatred and for other causes, and that coalition work can mean standing and working side by side with individuals and organizations with whom we disagree, sometimes vehemently.
However, we are not signing on as a formal co-sponsor because of many factors, including the rally’s deeply partisan origins; a non-transparent process around organization and speakers; the short time frame that worked against collaboration around the rally’s content and meaningful coalition building; the way some sponsors frame antisemitism; the implication that non-Zionists cannot have a voice in decrying antisemitism; a resistance to linking Jewish oppression with other equally unacceptable forms of hatred; and an unclear path for action. On the eve of the rally, we strongly urge the statement of inclusion that has been published on the rally’s web site be respected and enforced, since it provides a mechanism for the kind of broad unity that the main organizers profess to desire. Reconstructing Judaism will continue to offer our understandings of antisemitism in a manner that invites complexity, nuance and deliberation and that hopefully inspires transformative action and achieves meaningful impact. Most importantly, we will double down on our commitment to strengthening America’s democratic institutions, since a robust democracy that protects minority rights and promotes pluralism is the strongest protection against antisemitism and other forms of hate.