The following was originally submitted as an emergency resolution before the 2018 #Law4thePeople Convention, and was adopted instead as a national statement.
The National Lawyers Guild notes with alarm the re-emergence of virulent and violent antisemitism, a core element of historical and currently resurgent white supremacy in the United States and around the world. Adherents of this phenomenon have aimed their toxic attacks at a wide variety of scapegoats – Muslims, refugees, Latinx, indigenous people, immigrants, Blacks, Arabs, LGBTQ-identified people and women, among others, and the left in general – all in an effort to install and bolster regimes that promote nationalism, racism and sexism to suppress democracy, worker rights and movements to save our planet. Moreover, the current U.S. regime and its growing coterie of look-alikes worldwide are fast establishing a pattern of tolerating and giving succor to the various phenomena that spring from white supremacist ideology.
The Guild further notes that in the wake of the hate-inspired killing of worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue, there has been an increase in the volume of Trumpian, Charlottesville-style “both sides-ism,” citing “antisemitism of the right and the left”—the latter involving a false conflation of support for Palestine with anti-Jewish hatred. The Guild vehemently condemns this effort, which has fueled ongoing legislative and other initiatives to redefine antisemitism as including criticism of Israeli policies and unconstitutional attempts to suppress and even criminalize boycotts aimed at demanding Palestinian rights. At the same time, Israel’s government and some of its backers have welcomed support for Netanyahu from ultra-right groups in the United States and abroad, dangerously ignoring their deeply rooted antisemitism while aligning with their virulent Islamophobia.
Antisemitism and all forms of racism must be confronted and defeated whatever their source, and with full understanding of their sordid histories, but it is crucial to recognize that these phenomena today are overwhelmingly a function of dangerous fascist and white supremacist movements.
The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human, and civil rights.