Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter lent his signature to a statement condemning anti-Semitism and urging his European counterparts to be more vigilant against it.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter is the latest to join a coalition of American mayors urging their European counterparts to speak out and take action against a rising tide of anti-Semitism.
“I signed the statement because I have always strongly fought anti-Semitic statements or comments whenever I’ve been aware of such hateful speech,” said the mayor in a statement while visiting Israel, where he met with a number of Israeli startup companies, hoping to convince them to
set up offices in the city. “These vile and negative comments are hurtful to all of us, and even more painful to out Jewish brothers and sisters. I am sure that more and more Mayors will speak out strongly on this issue, and I am proud to give my strong support to this effort.”
The Mayor signed the pledge shortly before leaving for Frankfurt, Germany and Israel, where he conducted a number of business meetings geared towards bringing Israeli companies to Philadelphia. Upon his return, July 21, he explained during a press briefing why this coalition is so important.
“Anyone who reacts negatively to me signing something like that, we probably don’t have much to talk about,’’ said the Mayor. “So I’m pleased and proud to sign on.
“I have a number of very good friends behind that effort, so that when I was presented with the information it was pretty simple.’’
“Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism” comes in response to American Jewish Committee’s May strategy conference in Brussels called “A Defining Moment for Europe.” Following that conference, AJC released a plan titled “Call to Action,” which called for European governments to take
stronger measures to deal with the issue.
“Anti-Semitism is a cancer that, left unchecked, will metastasize and threaten to destroy the democratic and pluralistic nature of Europe,” said AJC executive director David Harris at the Brussels gathering.
In the succeeding two-plus months, AJC has gathered 26 signatures from mayors across the country, including New York’s Bill De Blasio, Rahm Emmanuel in Chicago. Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles, Boston’s Marty Walsh and Kasim Reed in Atlanta. They’re counting on the coalition to make
it clear to those in Europe anti-Semitism has no place in the world.
“We call upon mayors, municipal leaders and other officials in Europe to join us in affirming that anti-Semitism is not compatible with fundamental democratic values,” reads the Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism statement. “In a world of global communications where anti-Semitic ideas can and do spread quickly, the impact of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe does not stop at Europe’s borders.”
The AJC sees this is as a significant development. “On behalf of the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey region of AJC, I thank Mayor Nutter for his steadfast commitment to condemning anti-Semitism and his support for democratic values,” said AJC regional president, Fred Strober in a statement released today. “His signing — along with mayors from across the country — certainly sends a strong and impactful message to their counterparts around the world.”