EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso City Council passed a resolution Tuesday, Nov. 22 to fight antisemitism and “all forms of hate.”
“El Paso condemns any act of racism and discrimination such as the domestic terrorist attack that occurred in El Paso on Aug. 3rd, 2019, where 23 people were killed and 23 people were injured,” City Rep. and Mayor Pro Tempore Peter Svarzbein. “As a city representative, I have supported policies that expand the protection and rights of immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and other minority communities. We see too often these days the need to stand united for all of our communities in El Paso and beyond.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents have increased dramatically in the United States over the past decade. Last year, 2,717 were reported while in 2020, there were 2,026 incidents. That constitutes a 34 percent increase nationwide, while in the state of Texas there is an increase of 167 percent, according to the city news release announcing the resolution. There were 42 antisemitic incidents reported in the state of Texas in 2020 and 112 antisemitic incidents reported in 2021, the release stated.
Texas is now one of the top five states with the highest antisemitism incidence rates, Svarzbein said.
“I would like to thank the City Council of El Paso for adopting the non-legally binding IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism, which states as ‘Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities,’” Svarzbein said.
“We are a community that respects the First Amendment, freedom of religion and speech, and celebrates our diversity and the multitude of communities and cultures that make El Paso home,” he added.