By Brittany Anderson
Following a wave of anti-semetic rhetoric seen in recent months in Austin and San Antonio, a number of similar incidents hit too close to home here in Hays County — and the Hays County Commissioners Court made it clear that it wants push back against the rhetoric.
During its regular meeting on Nov. 23, the court unanimously approved an anti-semitism resolution in light of anti-semetic letters that began showing up in front of homes in rock-filled plastic bags across several cities in the county last month.
Anti-semitism is a form of hostility and religious prejudice against Jewish people.
Following Judge Ruben Becerra’s meeting with members of the county’s Jewish community, it became clear that the county should take lead and stand in solidarity with them in order to send a message that discriminatory and hate-motivated behavior will not be tolerated.
The resolution states that the FBI found in 2019 that attacks against Jews or Jewish institutions made up 60.3% of all religious-based hate crimes. As such, the court has found an “urgent need to ensure the safety and security of Jewish communities,” including synagogues, schools, cemeteries and other institutions.
The resolution concludes that the county wishes to affirm its commitment to the well-being and safety of its Jewish community members and ensure they know they are not alone.
Additionally, it states that the county is committed to ending the spread of all forms of bigotry and will continue its efforts to protect residents and victims from hate and will aggressively prosecute hate acts with the support of the district attorney’s office, the sheriff’s office, the constables’ offices and other local law enforcement agencies.
“Each individual has the ability to promote inclusiveness, celebrate diversity, support all fellow community members and reject hate and bias in all forms,” the resolution states. “All persons are encouraged to report anti-semitic incidents to the proper authorities for investigation.”