JCRC Statement on Representative Carson’s Actions

July 19, 2023

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is dismayed by Representative Carson’s votes and actions in Congress and his continued hostility toward the State of Israel. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner, 419-9-1, in support of a one-page resolution stating that Israel is not a racist or apartheid state, condemning all forms of antisemitism and xenophobia, and reaffirming the United States’ support of Israel. Today, President Isaac Herzog of Israel spoke to a joint session of Congress, delivering an optimistic message of hope and cooperation. The speech was incredibly well received by elected officials across the political spectrum.

We are disappointed, even if not surprised, by Representative Carson’s opposition to this resolution and decision to not attend the speech. A key component of the mission of the Indianapolis JCRC, representing the consensus of the local Jewish community, is to support the worldwide Jewish community and the State of Israel and to fight back against antisemitism. We have made our positions repeatedly clear to him, in our advocacy and in conversations throughout his time in Congress, yet we feel dismissed. These kinds of votes and actions serve only to antagonize our community.

While criticism of Israel, like that of any other country, may be expected as part of the ordinary course of the political and diplomatic process (as demonstrated by the hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting their own government), his actions demonstrate a clear and consistent opposition to the country. Rather than side with opponents of the State of Israel, we strongly urge him to reconsider his approach to engaging with Israel and better represent our local Jewish community.