October 26, 2023

Watson Coleman Statement on Rising Hate, Islamophobia, and Anti-Semitism

"As I’ve been working with my colleagues to call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and Gaza, I have also made time to listen to the experiences and needs of many of our Muslim and Jewish community leaders during this devastating time.

"Two things have been made abundantly clear: the bloodshed of innocents caught in this war must stop so that we can focus on facilitating a lasting and peaceful solution; and we must secure the safety of our Muslim and Jewish neighbors right here at home.

"It is important for us to remember the toll that this conflict takes - not just on the lives of innocent civilians and children in Gaza and Israel, but on the Muslim and Jewish communities around the world. Communities across the country and right here in New Jersey are hurting. They rely on each other and their trusted friends and neighbors for support. Their communities are OUR communities and are a part of what makes NJ-12 so beautifully diverse. It is appalling that in this time of crisis when we should be rallying together, there has been a rising number of hate crimes against Muslims, Arabs and Jews. We have seen the incendiary Islamophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric that continues to circulate, and we have unfortunately witnessed the violence that this type of language incites.

"Every American has the right to worship as they believe without fear of retaliation or discrimination. I am deeply disturbed by the hate that many Americans are facing, rooted in racist, extremist, and bigoted ideology. Hate has no place in America and I will continue to fight for a country in which everyone can worship safely and peacefully."