Over 100 Buddhist leaders have signed a letter condemning antisemitism in the United States.
The letter begins by addressing the recent Texas synagogue attack where terrorist and British national Malik Faisal Akram held four Jewish people hostage for eleven hours, before going on to acknowledge “the long standing, systemic antisemitism that is a poison to our lives in the United States of America and globally.”
“We vow to include antisemitism in our continuous work we are currently engaged in and call for a fresh and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and hatred of peoples at every level of our culture, society, government, our communities, and our own hearts,” the letter continues. “Everyone of us, what ever our faith is, should be able to practice without the fear of being bombed, set on fire, held hostage, or our places of practice vandalized with hate messages. We stand together.”
The signatories stated that they “strongly condemn acts of violence, hatred and bigotry of any kind,” adding: “We continue to see a disturbing rise of anti-Jewish hate erupt in communities around the world. These attacks are rooted in antisemitism, and we denounce antisemitism in any form, and in any context. As Buddhist practictioners, we must stand and safeguard the rights of all spiritual centers, especially attacks rooted in antisemitism and racism.”
The letter concluded with the signatories acknowledging that they “have not always been a refuge for Jewish people” before stating: “We renew our vows to untangle antisemitism’s roots and cultivate a tender, loving and respectful world. Antisemitism is painfully on the rise and we vow to be part of the healing. We will practice the humility that is essential to listening deeply, cultivating and acting with compassion as we build a truly beloved community.”