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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Celebrating The Start Of Hanukkah

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah and urged Americans to stand against bigotry and intolerance amid a rise in antisemitism across the country. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Let me start by wishing Jewish Americans everywhere a happy start to Hanukkah. I celebrated the first night with my family up in New York, and I hope my colleagues who observe Hanukkah were able to do the same.

The story of Hanukkah is among many things a story of perseverance in the face of unspeakable hatred. It is also a lesson that hits home this year for many Jewish Americans targeted recently by antisemitism. After decades of hard work, it is terrifying to see today that antisemitism is on the rise in America. We must do everything we can to stomp it down.

No matter what our faiths may be, of course, I urge all Americans of good will to take a stand against the forces of bigotry and intolerance. There are many out there who are trying to use their platforms to make antisemitism more acceptable in our country, and we must oppose them at every turn. 

I have faith that the forces of intolerance will lose in the end, just as they did in the days of Hanukkah when Judah Maccabee led the Jewish people against an oppressive majority. But the fight is long and all of us must do our part.

So as we continue observing the festival of lights, I say to colleagues and to Jewish Americans across the country Chag Sameach! A happy holiday. And thank God that, in this country, freedom of religion and tolerance is part of our watchword, unlike it was in the old days of Judah Maccabee.