Below are remarks given by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the Jewish Community Solidarity event in Washington, DC on January 13th.
Thank you so much to Adas Israel for hosting this remarkable event that has brought the Washington, D.C. community together.
Like everyone else in this room, I watched the events in France unfold with horror and sadness.
But even in the face of these tragedies, we have also seen compassion, humanity and unity.
The list of sponsors of this event speaks to how important it is we stand together in the face of violence, and that we will not let prejudice, fear or baseless hatred divide us.
Sadly, we in the Jewish community are no strangers to facing hatred simply for who we are or what we believe.
Tragically, over the past few years in particular, we have seen a rise of anti-Semitism from the streets of Paris to the streets of Miami Beach. We in the Jewish diaspora acutely feel the fear and the pain of our mishpacha throughout the world. We see the Jewish state of Israel constantly under attack as well.
And around the world, we have seen the spread of a violent and depraved ideology aimed at crushing the values that we hold dear: the freedom to practice and celebrate our own diverse religions and cultures; the right to express ourselves in print and in speech; and the right to live in our homelands and walk in our streets with dignity, respect and safety.
However, out of these dark moments, glimmers of light shine through.
We see a French Muslim police officer dying in the line of duty to protect the right of a magazine to satirize his religion. And a Malian Muslim clerk in a kosher supermarket who saved a dozen Jewish shoppers.
We see politicians, activists and world leaders speaking out against hatred and banding together to combat in addressing this frightening and unacceptable global rise of hatred.
We must continue to build on this momentum and this unity. We cannot combat violent acts of terror - particularly those driven by a warped interpretation of a religious ideology that is growing like a cancer - without working together. We have to stand with our international allies and with our neighbors to show that we are not afraid and we will not let fear overcome our values.
Particularly as a member of the Congressional French caucus, I am honored to be on the bimah with Ambassador Araud and I stand with my colleagues and I’m sure everyone here in saying that we must continue to strengthen our relationship based on our shared values.
My own religious values teach that “it is not for us to complete the work, but neither are we free to desist from it.” That is to say, while we can’t individually wipe out anti-Semitism or hatred, we each much commit to working - together - to combat it.
Events like this are an important step in showing those who would seek to destroy us and our values that we will not be silenced; that justice and righteousness will prevail as long as there are those who commit themselves to these values.
Je suis juif
Je suis Charlie
Nous somme unis
Vive La France
Vive Les Etas Unis