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October 18, 2021 5:19 pm
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Cobb County, Georgia Passes Resolution Denouncing Antisemitism After Swastika Incidents, Faces Call for ‘Specific Actions’

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Blackjack Mountain in Cobb County, Georgia. Photo Credit: Wikimedia

The Cobb County School Board in Marietta, Georgia adopted a resolution denouncing antisemitism and racism, following two incidents in which swastikas and other offensive messages were daubed in school bathrooms, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported on Thursday.

“The Board wishes to reaffirm its continued commitment to take proactive steps to address antisemitism, racism and all other forms of hate in Cobb County School District,” said the resolution, passed at the board’s monthly meeting with all but two of its members voting for it.

Hershel Greenblat, a Holocaust survivor and Cobb County resident, addressed the board, urging it not to “sweep these recent acts of graffiti and vandalism under the rug.”

“As a survivor, [I was there] to bear witness to a time in history which began with so many small acts of biased attitudes: fear, stereotyping and misinformation,” he said. “Left unchecked, there was discrimination, violence, assaults, and eventually genocide.”

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“I hope this board will go beyond words and take action. Please, do something about this antisemitism and anti-human beings. This is all I ask.”

Responding to the news hours later on Twitter, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’ Southeast office called the resolution a “good first step” — but added, “unless followed by specific actions, it’s an empty gesture.”

“Hate in all forms must be responded to with action and education, not empty value statements,” the ADL said. “We can’t support this as an adequate response without a commitment to a specific plan to use education to combat antisemitism and prevent future acts of hate in @Cobb Schools. We look forward to seeing the county’s action plan.”

The twin incidents of antisemitic vandalism, including swastikas and the words “Heil Hitler,” were both discovered during the Jewish High Holidays, drawing national media attention and condemnation from Georgia Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff in a Yom Kippur sermon.

The recent school board resolution also saw no votes from two members for not including an amendment that would schools commemorating Confederate soldiers, according to the AJC.

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