Governor Polis Issues Anti-Semitism Proclamation

Oct 13, 2023 | Article, Emergency, JCRC, Press Release

Governor Polis Issues Anti-Semitism Proclamation

Oct 13, 2023

With more than 100,000 Jewish Americans living in Colorado, Gov. Polis celebrates the many contributions of the community

Friday, October 13, 2023 

DENVER – In recent months, and in response to escalating antisemitism, the Governor’s office has been engaging with stakeholders in the Jewish and faith communities on ways to combat the rise of antisemitism in Colorado. Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a proclamation on behalf of the State of Colorado explaining and condemning antisemitism. In developing the language of the proclamation, the Governor and his office consulted a wide array of community partners. Yesterday, Governor Polis and National Governors Association Chair Governor Spencer Cox of Utah released a statement condemning the violence in Israel.

The text of the proclamation is below:

WHEREAS, Colorado celebrates our Jewish friends and neighbors, and the immense contributions they make to our communities and our state; and

WHEREAS, Jewish values, culture, and contributions have helped shape the character of our nation, our state and our communities; and

WHEREAS, antisemitism, including harassment on the basis of actual or perceived Jewish origin, ancestry, ethnicity, identity, affiliation, or faith, remains a persistent, pervasive, and disturbing problem in contemporary American society; and

WHEREAS, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has promulgated the following working definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted or endorsed by 43 countries and various agencies of the United States federal government: “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,” and

WHEREAS, Jews account for 2.4% of the United States population, but are the victims of 63% of reported religiously motivated hate crimes according to the most recent FBI report; and

WHEREAS as of 2021, more than 100,000 Jews live in Colorado; and

WHEREAS, while antisemitic incidents most directly and intensely affect the Jewish community, antisemitism, like all forms of hate, threatens all Coloradans; and

WHEREAS, antisemitism and antisemitic conspiracy theories fuel other forms of hatred, discrimination, and bias, including discrimination against other religious minorities, racism, sexism, and anti-LGBTQI+ hate; and

WHEREAS, we should continue to remain forever vigilant against hatred, persecution, and terrorism; and

WHEREAS, calls for violence against Jews in Colorado and across the world exacerbated by recent terrorist attacks targeting Jews in Israel by Hamas, continue to undermine safety and security of Jewish Coloradans who have deep ties through friends, family, and community with the people of Israel; and

WHEREAS, antisemitism seeks to divide Americans and Coloradans from one another, erodes trust in institutions and government, instills fear in our communities, and undermines freedom and democracy; and

WHEREAS, freedom of expression is a core American value, and many Jewish Coloradans, including students, do not feel safe expressing their Judaism, or solidarity with Israel, in their daily lives; and

WHEREAS, in Colorado we value and are committed to protecting everyone’s right to safely practice their religion and express who they are; and

WHEREAS, in a time of increasing antisemitism, we should be vigilant in ensuring people understand and speak out against antisemitism when they hear it or see it, and that the State of Colorado shows support for Jewish Coloradans; and

WHEREAS, as we work to create a Colorado for All, our state will continue to be a place that welcomes Jewish people, and honors their meaningful contributions to our state and country; and

THEREFORE, I, Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim the State of Colorado’s official condemnation of antisemitism.