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Governor appoints Antisemitism Task Force, says ‘We’ll keep fighting against hate’



By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

A task force has been developed to conduct a review of antisemitism in the state, assess Holocaust education in Kentucky, and advise on training programs for law enforcement relating to hate crimes, said Gov. Andy Beshear.

The governor said the end of the year is a time for family togetherness, as well as celebration for many religious traditions.

“Unfortunately, this year’s festivities arrive with threats of violence recently made against synagogues here in Kentucky,” he said. “These threats have led to evacuations over the last several weeks, and we are seeing a spike in antisemitism nationwide. There is no place for hate of any kind in Kentucky. We are one team, Team Kentucky.”

Governor Beshear (File photo)

The Kentucky Antisemitism Task Force will initially have 18 members, including public officials as well as religious and community leaders. In addition, the police chiefs of Lexington and Louisville will be ex-officio members.
“The task force will help guide this administration and our entire Commonwealth and make sure we are getting it right,” Beshear said. “That everyone in our Commonwealth is treated like a child of God and the human being that they are. With the task force, we are letting Kentuckians of all faiths who may be hurting during this time know that we see you and we will keep fighting against hate.”

He added, “It is everyone’s responsibility to speak out loudly against hatred and violence, racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia.”

One of the members is Sen. Karen Berg, D-Louisville.

She said, “I think this is a great opportunity for us as a state to come together, explore some of the reasons some people are scared of other groups and see what we can do as a state to bring people together. I believe in the people of Kentucky.  I believe that hate does not win in this state.”

Family medicine specialist Dr. Muhammad Babar is also on the task.

“We should all stand united against antisemitism to promote understanding and respect for all cultures and religions,” he said. “Together, we can work towards a world where every individual is valued irrespective of their race, gender, belief system or sexual orientation.”

The Kentucky Antisemitism Task Force will be part of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.

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