The following proclamation was read at the City Council meeting on February 7, 2023
A Proclamation of the City Council of Ashland, Oregon condemning and rejecting antisemitism and reaffirming Ashland’s commitment to ensuring our community is a safe and welcoming place to live, work, and visit:
WHEREAS, the City of Ashland takes great pride in diversity and respect for all people, and Jewish people are an
important part of the city’s fabric; and
WHEREAS, antisemitism is racism, hostility, prejudice, vilification, discrimination or violence, including hate crimes,
directed against Jews, as individuals, groups or as a collective and/or their property – because they are Jews. Its expression includes attributing to Jews, as a group, characteristics or behaviors that are perceived as dangerous, harmful, frightening or threatening. It may take the form of teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews. Antisemitism is a type of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia and as such is closely related to, and often driven by similar motivations and forces as other forms of bigotry.
WHEREAS, the Holocaust – the state-sponsored persecution and murder of Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945 – is the most extreme example of antisemitism in history; and
WHEREAS, the Anti-Defamation League recorded 331 hate crimes in Oregon during the years 2019 through 2022 and 25% of those crimes were antisemitic and 25,541 hate crimes were recorded in the United States for that same period of time and 34% were antisemitic; and
WHEREAS, the use of antisemitic language, conspiracy theories, holocaust denial, and hatred toward Jewish people has increased exponentially the past decade and has led to increased attacks against the Jewish people. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, while Jewish people account for not more than 2% of the U.S. population, Jews were the
target of 55% of all religiously motivated hate crimes in recent years; and
WHEREAS, hatred and bias in any form are not acceptable in our community. The City of Ashland remains committed to our vision of welcoming the world and recognizing our diversity as a key strength for the City and our character; and
WHEREAS, any victims of antisemitism in the City of Ashland are urged to report any incidents — as hate crimes or bias-related events — so that local law enforcement can respond, track such incidents, and bring perpetrators to justice;
NOW, THEREFORE, The City Council of the City of Ashland, Oregon, on behalf of its citizens, and as supporters and allies of our Jewish community do hereby proclaim the City of Ashland’s condemnation of antisemitism. The City of Ashland strongly stands against hate, bias or violence based on identity and remains committed to the principles of nondiscrimination and human rights. In Ashland we are Better Together.
Dated this 7th day of February 2023
Tonya Graham, Chair of the City Council
Melissa Huhtala, City Recorder