A Greeley Tribune city councilor is facing criticism after sending a tweet Thursday morning that critics say plays on anti-Semitic tropes.
First-term councilor Kendra Lara, who hails from and represents the Jamaica Plains, tweeted and later deleted a tweet that read, “You’re letting the Zionists shake. Oh!”
Lara after facing criticism Explained That tweet was a response to the 8th Circuit Federal Appeals Court ruling this week. That court’s decision, According to the Associated Pressupheld Arkansas law, which required state contractors to promise not to boycott Israel.
The appeals court ruled that the state’s mandate did not violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment.
The Arkansas law is a response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for boycotts of Israeli businesses in protest against the country. Treating Palestinians as Second Class Citizens,
“I maintain my disappointment with the Eighth Circuit Court’s decision and believe that confronting anti-Semitism with anti-Semitism will ultimately prevent us from living in true solidarity with both the Jewish people and Palestinians,” Lara tweeted.
But Lara also apologized, saying she was taught why her phrases played on harmful Jewish stereotypes.
“It was made clear to me, that the use of the phrase ‘shake them up’ reinforces anti-Semitic tropes about the Jewish people. Although this was not my intention, the effect – especially at a moment when we are Jewish people Seeing an alarming rate of violence against – that is and I should have known better,” she tweeted.
One Anti-Defamation League’s April report (ADL) indicated that anti-Semitic incidents in Massachusetts reached an all-time high in 2021, a 48% increase from 2020.
The report also showed that the growth of anti-Semitic incidents in New England surpassed that of the rest of the country in 2021, with New England experiencing a 42% increase, while the country as a whole experienced a 34% increase.
Robert Treston, the New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, explained the issue with Lara’s tweet in an interview. Greeley Tribune Globe Thursday morning.
The statement, he said, “seems unprecedented and quite shocking to come from an elected official in the city of Greeley Tribune.” He said there are ways to be pro-Palestinian without being anti-Semitic.
“When you put ‘Him You Down’ for people in the Jewish community, there’s an immediate connection to tropes about money and power. ‘Shake You Down’ is associated with some kind of threat.”
For the 8th Circuit Court’s decision, the entire Court of Appeals overturned a 2-1 decision last year by a three-judge panel that found the need for a pledge not to boycott Israel to be unconstitutional, the AP reported.
Arkansas Times The AP had sued to block the law, which mandates that contractors in the state must cut their fees by 20% if they don’t sign the pledge, the AP reported.
American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Timessaid it plans to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court.
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