US Mayoral and State Legislative Delegations Return from Israel Empowered to Confront Antisemitism

US Mayoral and State Legislative Delegations Return from Israel Empowered to Confront Antisemitism

Two bipartisan delegations of American mayors and state lawmakers visited Israel this month on missions led by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) to express solidarity, strengthen ties, and learn firsthand about the challenges Israel is facing in the aftermath of the October 7th massacre.

CAM is also organizing a trip for a group of chiefs of staff for Republican governors from June 23-28.

From June 4-11, a delegation of 13 U.S. municipal leaders – including Justin Arest of Scarsdale, NY, Samson Borgelin of North Lauderdale, FL, Alix Desulme of North Miami, FL, and Lester Friedman of Beverly Hills, CA, among others – toured Israel, meeting government and diplomatic officials, visiting historical, cultural, and religious sites, engaging with local communities, and discussing best practices for municipal governance and community relations.

The following week, from June 9-14, a bipartisan group of 15 state legislators also visited Israel with CAM. Participants included Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears of Virginia, Sen. Daniel Dawson of Iowa, Rep. Randy Fine of Florida, Sen. Robby Mills of Kentucky, and Rep. Christopher Todd of Tennessee. This delegation focused on state-level policies, economic ties, and educational partnerships between the U.S. and Israel. They explored ways by which policymakers can help combat the rise of antisemitism within their respective communities.

“It is crucial that we promote understanding and fight against the spread of misinformation and hate,” said Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears of Virginia. “By learning about Israel’s vibrant diversity and the complex realities I just witnessed, we can better understand and combat antisemitism disguised as criticism of Israel. As state leaders, we have a responsibility to stand up against hatred and bigotry in all its forms.”

“Mayors and state legislators are on the frontlines of fighting antisemitism and building more inclusive communities at the local level,” said CAM CEO Sacha Roytman. “By providing these leaders with the opportunity to visit Israel, learn about its vibrant diversity, and make person-to-person connections, we can effectively counter misinformation about Israel while combating antisemitism at the grassroots level.”

Both delegations featured a diverse mix of Democratic and Republican officials from different backgrounds, reflecting the across-the-aisle support to combat antisemitism in the United States.

“It was inspiring to come together with state and city leaders to stand against antisemitism,” said Rep. Randy Fine of Florida. “This trip has shown that combating hate is not a partisan issue, but a human one.”

The trips also provided an opportunity for the two delegations to meet with one another, share their experiences, and to visit both Kibbutz Be’eri and the Nova Music Festival site to commemorate the lives lost in the October 7th massacre.

“Bringing these delegations of elected mayors and legislators to Israel to witness firsthand the atrocities of October 7th and the country’s remarkable resilience was crucial,” said CAM Chief Government Affairs Officer Lisa Katz. “The missions were inspiring and emotional, highlighting the urgent need for solidarity and informed action in the face of global misinformation and antisemitism.”

CAM believes these delegation trips help counter rising antisemitism by fostering a greater understanding of Israel and engaging with influential leaders who shape opinion, policy, and education in communities across America.

About Combat Antisemitism Movement

CAM is a global coalition engaging more than 850 partner organizations and five million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of

fighting the world’s oldest hatred. CAM acts collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.

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