This Hanukkah, Jews across the U.S. are taking to the street to rally against the Islamophobia and racism rampant in their communities.
On each night in the eight-day-long religious holiday, Jewish activists are participating in protests against various forms of injustice in a campaign by Jews Against Islamophobia, a coalition of national peace organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the activist group Jews Say No!
Activists are conveying their commitments through signs in the shape of eight candles, which together comprise a symbolic menorah. A ninth sign, modeled after the shamash, or “helper” candle, reads “Jews against Islamophobia and racism — rekindling our commitment to justice.” The eight pledges listed on the other candles are:
- We will not be silent about anti-Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes;
- We condemn state surveillance of the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities;
- We challenge, through our words and actions, institutionalized racism and state-sanctioned anti-Black violence;
- We protest the use of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism to justify Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians;
- We fight anti-Muslim profiling and racial profiling in all its forms;
- We call for an end to racist policing #SayHerName #BlackLivesMatter;
- We stand against U.S. policies driven by the “war on terror” that demonize Islam and devalue, target, and kill Muslims; and
- We welcome Syrian refugees and stand strong for immigrants’ rights and refugee rights.