We Have to Take Action Before it’s Too Late

The following is an adapted version of my remarks at the 8/14/17 “Reject White Supremacy” rally and vigil at the White House.

Credit: Charlotte Volpe (Twitter)

I’m an organizer here in DC with IfNotNow, a movement of young American Jews standing up for freedom and dignity in Palestine, Israel and here at home.

I want to share the quote that inspires our name. It’s from the great sage Rabbi Hillel:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

If I am only for myself, what am I?

If not now, when?”

When my grandfather was a child, his family was forced from their homes by the Nazi’s and their fascist allies in Romania. And while his life was saved by the timely arrival of the soviet army, for so many Jews and others in Europe, it was too late.

Today, all Americans are facing a choice. Do we patiently wait for this increasingly visible neo-nazi threat burns itself out? Or do we stand on the side of dignity and freedom for all and confront racism and all forms of bigotry directly? Do we characterize the senseless murder of a fellow activist as an isolated incident? Or do we recognize the patterns of violence that have plagued our country since before its foundation?

Our community, and all communities, must never forget: Anti-Semitism and Racism go hand in hand.

I’m here today to fight back against those who want to see my Jewish family rounded up again. I’m here to stand in solidarity with our black, brown, Muslim, queer, disabled, trans, undocumented and female friends, neighbors and strangers who have faced this kind of violence for years and continue to do so. And I’m here because we have to take action before it’s too late. If Not Now, when?

You can watch video from the vigil below:

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