May 01, 2024

Rep. Sara Jacobs: “I’ve experienced antisemitism all my life”

Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-51), the youngest Jewish Member of Congress, released the following statement after voting against legislation that would stifle and restrict free speech in an effort to combat the rise of antisemitism: 

“As a Jewish woman, I’ve experienced antisemitism all my life. I’ve been called a kike while I was waiting for a drink at a bar when I was at college. I’ve heard too many ‘jokes’ to count about my frizzy hair and my big nose. I remember my classmates who thought it was funny to say people were ‘being Jewed’ when someone was being frugal. I know the hatred and ignorance that lie behind all these comments, and how they can quickly escalate into violence – and I’m deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitism in San Diego and across the country.

“But I do not believe that anti-Zionism is inherently antisemitism. I support Israel’s right to exist, but I also know many people who question whether Israel should exist as a Jewish state who are deeply connected to their Judaism.

“Today, I voted against H.R. 6090, because it fails to effectively address the very real rise of antisemitism, all while defunding colleges and universities across the country and punishing many, if not all, of the non-violent protestors speaking out against the Israeli military’s conduct. Conflating free speech and hate crimes will not make Jewish students any safer. This bill would stifle First Amendment rights to free speech and free assembly. And it would distract from real antisemitism and our efforts to address it.”