Political parties, professional organizations, corporations, institutions, and associations of all sort adopt bylaws prohibiting or condemning speech or behavior that, though legal, violates their internal codes of ethics. Because the groups adopting such resolutions or bylaws are private, these restrictions raise no First Amendment issues. They are not statements of law, but rather voluntary expressions of culture and values.
When it comes to the cultural mainstreaming of antisemitism, some sources are particularly influential – academics and public intellectuals, faith leaders, celebrities of all sorts. Perhaps nowhere, however are these issues engaged in more regularly and directly – and by institutions that should be transparent and answerable to the public - than among America’s political parties and media outlets.
Political parties cannot limit membership, or even ballot access. They can, however, make their own rules about how to proceed when an unacceptable candidate or elected official affiliates with them.
Journalism has well established codes of “journalistic ethics.” Additionally, every television network has a department of standards and practices; many, for example, will not “out” LGBTQ people, use racial slurs, or traffic in bigoted stereotypes. Yet many of these same mainstream media outlets do promote stories and narratives that plainly violate the internationally accepted IHRA definition of anti-Semitism when it comes to their reporting or opining on Israel, on Israelis, and on members of traditional Jewish communities.
We have drafted a resolution that we consider appropriate for all major political parties. We call on leaders and supporters of America’s dominant political parties to encourage the national Republican and Democratic parties to adopt them. We call on America’s third parties and all state and local parties to adopt them
We have also drafted language consistent in structure and purpose with the Society of Professional Journalists’ Rules of Ethics. Our goal is to solicit broad media agreement to refrain from antisemitic reporting as defined by the IHRA.
We plan to develop similar resolutions appropriate for corporate boards, unions, professional organizations, and other types of associations.
Files coming soon.
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