We must always condemn anti-Semitism, support Israel and our Jewish community in Miami-Dade County

The importance of participating in the 2020 Census
Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr.

OpEd: We must always condemn anti-Semitism, support Israel and our Jewish community in Miami-Dade County

At a time when Anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, silence cannot be an option. Today, the new face of anti-Semitism is masked by anti-Israel sentiments. However, since 1948, the United States and Israel have had a bond since the establishment of the Jewish state. With that bond, comes the same shared beliefs of democratic values; making Israel the most reliable friend in the Middle East for the United States. Thankfully, Miami-Dade County has a long history of opposing discriminatory practices, including discrimination based upon national origin and religion. Whether it’s standing in solidarity with our ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel or condemning the use of anti-Semitic slurs, Miami-Dade County must always condemn hatred and defend the Jewish community; which ranks as the 11th largest Jewish population in the country. 

On January 23, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners adopted my resolution that urges Airbnb, Inc. to reverse its decision to ban listings for properties located in areas of the West Bank, which are predominantly owned by Israelis. My resolution further states that it will be the policy of the Board of County Commissioners that Airbnb shall not be used for County travel and that no County funds shall be used to pay for any properties booked through Airbnb for County travel until Airbnb reverses its discriminatory policy of banning listings in the West Bank. I am hopeful that Airbnb will take the necessary step to reverse its decision, and I stand firm that businesses that operate in our county will not tolerate this type of practice.

Justice also needs to be served to the many Holocaust-era survivors and their heirs, whose families were torn apart by the Nazi regime. Substantial evidence exists suggesting several European insurance companies collaborated with the Nazi regime during the 1930s and 1940s, selling thousands of policies totaling billions of dollars to Nazi victims and then refused to honor them. Former Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, a champion of the Jewish community and defender of Israel, introduced The Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act during her tenure of Congress. The bill would allow a beneficiary of a Holocaust-era life, endowment, education, annuity, property or other insurance policy to bring a civil action in a United States District Court against an insurer for a covered policy and to recover proceeds or enforce any right under the policy. On May 1st, the County Commission approved my resolution showing our support while urging Congress to approve pending legislation allowing Holocaust survivors to sue Nazi-era insurers in U.S. courts to force them to honor life insurance policies sold to Holocaust victims before their deaths. I hope Congress re-introduces Ros-Lehtinen’s act to find justice for Holocaust survivors and ensure they receive the care and compensation they are due after enduring such unspeakable horrors.

Hatred toward our greatest ally in the Middle East, the democratic Jewish State of Israel, and the use of anti-Semitic tropes, slurs, and the use of stereotypes should never be a part of any conversation, especially one of policy in our nation’s Capital. I reiterate my continued support for our Jewish community in Miami-Dade County, which has strong partnerships with the residents and visitors from the West Bank, and I stand in solidarity in making sure that our Israeli brothers and sisters in Miami and abroad are treated with the utmost respect.

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  1. Shame on Bovo for legitimizing decades of Israeli brutality, human rights abuses, murder of innocent lives, imprisoning children and supporting illegal Jewish settler terrorists. Who on poison Palestinian water wells, burn down/uproot their olive trees, kill their livestock, and harass them as Palestinians struggle to survive in their own lands – watching Jewish settlers and IDF demolish their homes – it is SYSTEMATIC ETHNIC CLEANSING.

    And if any Holocaust survivor supports that, just because it’s being committed by the Jewish State of Israel, then I would dare ask them as I ask Bovo to look deep within yourself and ask yourself why is it ok?

  2. “properties located in areas of the West Bank, which are predominantly owned by Israelis”?? What you meant to say is “properties located in the occupied Palestinian territories that were illegally taken over by Israelis.” Israeli settlements are built on stolen land.


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