Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, who represents California’s 10th district in the US House of Representatives, spoke out against antisemitism at Here I Am, an event hosted by the JCRC at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, California.
DeSaulnier delivered a passionate speech against hate and antisemitism. He specifically highlighted the need for communities to speak up when they see hate perpetrated against Jews.
Quoting Dante’s classical work The Divine Comedy, DeSaulnier said “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in moments of moral crisis maintained their neutrality” before ending his speech by saying, “That’s not us.”
DeSaulnier also invoked Martin Niemoller’s classic quote about the importance of communities speaking up against oppression during the Holocaust, even when their own members were not yet affected by hate.
According to the JCRC, antisemitic crimes have risen dramatically in the Bay Area over the last several years.
Colleagues of DeSaulnier and other elected officials also spoke out against antisemitism at the multifaith event. Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, and many other officials and members of the clergy delivered remarks and spoke out.