Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) Chief of Staff Arthur Maserjian took part in a Bloomberg CityLab 2023 panel session on Thursday on the topic of “Local Responses to Rising Hate” at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Other speakers included Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, chair of the upcoming North American Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism organized by CAM, and Pastor of New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church Kyev Tatum.
The discussion was moderated by Bloomberg CityLab Executive Editor Jennifer Sondag.
In their discourse, the panelists shared insights on innovative city-oriented approaches to tackling issue of rising hate crimes across the globe.
Maserjian referred to the six-point municipal action plan against antisemitism unveiled at the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism in Athens, Greece, and also highlighted the importance of adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, as well as how cities can help locally implement the new U.S. National Strategy for Countering Antisemitism.
Furthermore, Maserjian presented unique case studies from cities around the world, citing CAM research that was included in a recent report published by the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism (SEAS).
Maserjian also commented on the current situation in Israel, warning of a rise in antisemitic incidents globally incited by the ongoing war with Hamas, including the erroneous media coverage on Tuesday of a deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital that was widely blamed on the Israeli military initially, but was later proven to be the result of a failed Islamic Jihad rocket launch.
“The history of the Middle East is complex, but what happened on October 7th is not,” Maserjian said. “Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, and Palestinian freedom can not come at the expense of Jewish freedom. You can criticize Israel without being antisemitic — but when you protest against Israel by saying ‘Gas the Jews’ as we saw in Sydney this week, that’s antisemitism. October 7th is about good versus evil — when 260 innocent young people were gunned down at a music festival by Hamas, this is terrorism, this is evil, and it must be universally condemned.”
Mayor Trantalis also underscored his support for Israel and the Jewish people, reiterating the sentiments he expressed shortly after Hamas’ surprise invasion of southern Israel nearly two weeks ago.
I am shocked and saddened to see the heinous and despicable attack that occurred this weekend against our nation’s steadfast ally, Israel. I condemn the murders and kidnappings of innocent civilians committed by terrorists in a surprise attack.
I call on our community to stand…
— Mayor Dean J. Trantalis (@DeanTrantalis) October 8, 2023