For Immediate Release




Deerfield - Lake County Board candidate Andy Dalkin announced his first policy proposal directed at combating rising antisemitism. 

After attending a rally in Chicago in support of Israel and the hostages still help captive by Hamas after it brutally attacked Israel on October 7, 2023 and slaughtered nearly 1200 men, women and children, Dalkin called on the Lake County Board to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism—including its examples of contemporary antisemitism.

Proposed definition:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

Dalkin said, "We need to address the rise of antisemitism, not only in Lake County, but throughout the United States.  Antisemitism is a problem, and it isn’t going to fix itself. We cannot defeat antisemitism until we can first define it. We must recognize that "ancient hatred" in order to address it. "  

Dalkin asserted, "This policy will help local law enforcement and state officials better identify and combat antisemitic acts, including hate crimes and discrimination." "As a Lake County Board member and a member of the Jewish community, I will strive to make sure that Lake County stands against religious hate and discrimination, including antisemitism, in both deeds and words."


Antisemitism is a worldwide, national and local issue

The FBI reports that although Jews comprise only 2% of the U.S. population, they are victims of 60% of religiously motivated hate crimes. In Illinois, the number of antisemitic incidents increased by 128% from 2021, making it the seventh-highest number of incidents in the country in a year.

Despite our good intentions, Lake County is not immune from the scourge of antisemitism. From vandalism at a Jewish Cemetery in Waukegan, hundreds of antisemitic fliers left on driveways, and antisemitic chants during a Deerfield High School soccer game, our community is experiencing a shocking spike in antisemitism. Since October 7, 2023—when the terrorist group Hamas invaded Israel and killed 1,200 innocent people— our nations has witnessed a 400 % increase in reported antisemitic incidents. Again our community is not immune.

The need for a clear definition

Antisemitism evolves over time. Antisemitism “mutates” and can occur in new ways that are hard for leaders and institutions to identify. Because antisemitism comes in many forms, people may have no idea when they are witnessing— or even engaging in—antisemitism.

Perpetrators attempt to camouflage their antisemitism.Without a consistent definition, those who perpetrate antisemitism will attempt to define the term to exclude their own bigotry.

Confusion about antisemitism leads to: (1) underreporting; (2) lack of justice; (3) more crime

Lack of understanding leads to unintentional antisemitic activity. When individuals fail to understand antisemitism, they may engage in antisemitic rhetoric or conduct without meaning to.

Why this proposed definition?

The IHRA Working Definition:

1.     Takes into account both contemporary and classic antisemitism;

2.    Was developed by experts who express the needs of the victims rather than the biases of the perpetrators; and

3.    Is the consensus-driven choice of the world’s democracies and has been adopted or endorsed by a wide range of governments, institutions, and organizations.

The Definition includes, but is not limited to, examples that describe 11 ways in which antisemitism may manifest today.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion. 

  • Making untruthful, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions. 

  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews. 

  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust). 

  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

  • Accusing Jewish American citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of the United States.  

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Dalkin said “Lake County is not immune from the scourge of antisemitism. From vandalism at a Jewish Cemetery in Waukegan, hundreds of antisemitic fliers left on driveways, and antisemitic chants during a Deerfield High School soccer game, our community is experiencing a shocking spike in antisemitism.  We must put an end to antisemitism, not only worldwide, but here in the United States and Lake County.


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