‘Antisemites don’t get to define antisemitism’: Group of Jewish activists counter upcoming Tlaib, Lamont Hill discussion

A group of Jewish activists are standing up and fighting for their right to define their personal struggles against antisemitism. The group was formed in response to another upcoming panel on “combatting antisemitism” that the Jewish activists argue is composed of mostly non-Jews seeking to hijack the narrative.

Hen Mazzig, Senior Fellow at The Tel Aviv Institute, arranged the panel and told this reporter on Friday that he made sure it includes “diverse voices (Black Jews, Mexican Jew, Native American Jew, and all women!) to make sure Jews have a place to deal with the trauma of the antisemitic panel the day before.”

Mazzig continued, “While we don’t have a sitting congresswoman, we still have strong Jewish voices, leaders in their fields that have dealt with antisemitism. I believe that in order to fight antisemitism we must first listen to Jews.”

Ashager Araro, whose story of perseverance of escaping civil war and persecution in Ethiopia has captured the hearts of many, says she’s “sick and tired of people trying to erase my history, whitewash my identity, and define my struggle.”

Araro is one of six panelists to join Mazzig’s discussion, which will also feature Democrat Arizona Rep. Alma Henandez, State Department Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ellie Cohanim, and many other diverse Jewish voices.

Highlighting her anger with the upcoming panel that she says is composed of antisemites, Araro released a video to make the message clear: “Antisemites don’t get to define antisemitism!”

“I’m Ashager and I’m mad because a few weeks from now a panel featuring mostly non-Jews is going to determine to the rest of the world what antisemitism is,” Araro says in the opening of her video. “Of course allies helping to fight antisemitism are important but these are not allies.”

Araro then listed each panelist’s ties to antisemitism. That includes Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-MI, who has a pattern of past antisemitic remarks, Marc Lamont Hill, who was let go from CNN for antisemitic statements supporting the destruction of the Jewish state, Peter Beinart, who Araro says “doesn’t believe in the right for Israel to exist,” and Barbara Ransby, who supported convicted Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Rasmeah Odeh.

Rep. Tlaib didn’t respond to this reporter’s request for comment.

“These panelists are using organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace who don’t represent the majority views of the Jewish community. This panel was meant to keep Jews out of the conversation. They want to tell Jews what should or shouldn’t offend them and they can’t,” said Araro.

She added, “I am a feminist, a liberal, supporter of Black Lives Matter and a proud Zionist. You can be all of those things. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

Jennie Taer

Jennie Taer