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US Sen. Booker launches new group of Black, Jewish senators against antisemitism

Black-Jewish coalition will include fellow Democrats Warnock and Blumenthal, also Republican Tim Scott; idea spurred by reports of rising anti-Jewish incidents

Senator Cory Booker speaks during a news conference in Hoboken, New Jersey, May 6, 2021. (Seth Wenig/AP)
Senator Cory Booker speaks during a news conference in Hoboken, New Jersey, May 6, 2021. (Seth Wenig/AP)

JTA — Sen. Cory Booker is leading a group of US Jewish and Black senators in establishing a coalition to fight antisemitism and racism.

The so-called Black-Jewish coalition will also include Booker’s fellow Democrats Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, as well as Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican from across the aisle.

“There’s been a long history of Black people and Jewish sisters and brothers working together on a whole range of concerns,” Warnock was quoted as saying by NJ.com.

The idea of convening the lawmakers was spurred by reports of rising antisemitism amid a national reckoning around racial injustice.

A sticker with a swastika is seen in Anchorage, Alaska, on May 25, 2021. (Anchorage Police Department)

“We will be fighting both racism and anti-Semitism,” Blumenthal said. “I think we’re in the midst of a racial justice moment and a reckoning now that could draw us together.”

Scott Richman, director of the Anti-Defamation League in New York/New Jersey, praised the initiative.

“This would be an important step towards bringing together two communities with a shared commitment to justice and an end to bias and bigotry,” he told NJ.com.

A similar body, called the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, already exists in the House of Representatives.

Booker, who keeps a Hebrew bible on his Senate desk, has a long history of connections with the Jewish community. He often cites Torah passages and recites Hebrew quotes in public appearances.

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