SPRING FIELD – Members of the General Assembly stood in solidarity at a press conference Wednesday to condemn anti-Semitic literature distributed anonymously recently in the district that State Sen. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) represents and to provide members practical ways to stand up against anti-Semitism and hate speech.
“This incident is disturbing and intolerable,” said Senator Fine. “As an individual and as a Jewish woman, I am disgusted by these displays of hatred. However, we will not back down from these threatening messages. Instead, I ask my colleagues and members of my community to stand up against anti-Semitism to prevent situations like this, or more dangerous incidents, from happening again.
Over the past few weeks, anti-Semitic flyers in plastic bags have been left in the driveways of Niles, Glenview and Park Ridge. The flyers included images of prominent Jewish politicians — including Senator Fine — and businessmen from Illinois and across the country.
“The meteoric rise in anti-Semitism both in Illinois and around the world is breathtaking,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “The Jewish community and its allies cannot ignore or dismiss the historical parallel between what happened before World War II and the Holocaust, where six million Jews were murdered across Europe, and the anti-Semitism that we know globally, nationally and in Illinois.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents increased 84% in the Midwest between 2016 and 2020.
“As anti-Semitism rises across the country, we must continue to call out our hate speech and our hate crimes when they happen in our own backyards,” said Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Highwood) . “Adding $20 million to the governor’s budget for security funding for religious and cultural institutions is urgently needed and will help our at-risk communities.”
Members of the General Assembly and Advocates further encourage everyone to counter hate speech and stop the spread of acts of violence by holding people accountable, raising awareness and supporting those who are the target of hate speech. hate speech and informing authorities and the Attorney General’s office when hate crimes occur.
“We need to take fanatics at their word and keep our elected officials safe and investigate the sources of these serial attacks,” said Alison Pure-Slovin, Midwest Region Director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “The Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls for a Special Illinois Task Force on Antisemitism and Reiterates Its Call for FBI Director Wray to Establish a Special FBI National Task Force on Antisemitism for Us help fight the scourge of hate.”