Liberal Jewish Group Launches TV Campaign Against Anti-Immigrant Hatred

The public debate over immigration reform and the rhetoric that is being used in the Republican presidential primary in the last few months has prompted Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice group, to launch a campaign against anti-immigrant hatred.

On Monday, the Jewish political action committee released a 30-second TV advertisement, as well as an online petition, to raise the issue and urge the American Jewish community to work together to change the public discourse over the matter.

The six-figure ad will run on CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC during the Sunday morning talk shows, as well as during the MSNBC Democratic presidential forum Friday evening, according to Hadar Susskind, director of Bend the Arc.

“We’ve heard this ugly kind of hatred before. Many of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and millions of other Jewish immigrants, faced this same kind of hate when they arrived. We were called these very same things. We were told we’d never be real Americans,” a message on the online petition reads. “Join Bend the Arc and the American Jewish community in pledging to stand against anti-immigrant hatred. If thousands of us raise our voices together we can deliver the powerful message that our community refuses to be silent and put those using this hateful rhetoric on notice.”

Speaking to Jewish Insider, Susskind said the ad was not specifically targeting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over his recent comments against immigrants, but added that “we’ve certainly seen an unfortunate amount of that in the Republican debate.” He also expressed concern over House Speaker Paul Ryan’s pledge to the House Freedom Caucus to hold back legislation on immigration reform until President Barack Obama leaves office.

“For us, the issue of immigration, but also of discrimination and hate, is deeply rooted in the work that we do,” he told Jewish Insider. “It’s not long ago that the Jewish community was in that debate; we were the immigrants and we were being told that we are unacceptable, and I think that still echoes very strongly in our community here.”

“The ad is not about changing policy but changing the political rhetoric over the issue,” Susskind added.

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