Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Condemns Anti-Semitism and Urges Training in Cultural Diversity at Military Academies

Winter 2005

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) strongly condemns a series of recent anti-Semitic events at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and urges that all of the U.S. military academies adopt as part of their curricula courses in cultural, religious and ethnic diversity to fight bigotry and hatred. The officers of today and tomorrow, who are being trained at these academies to lead troops of many ethnic and religious backgrounds, must themselves be trained to respect and understand the diversity of those whom they will command. America's military, like the country itself, derives its strength from the contributions of its diverse population. Courses in cultural diversity must be required for those who will lead the troops. The incidents at the Air Force academy, which included harassment of Jewish cadets, the sending out of a letter by one of the academy's top officers to tell them that they are "accountable first to God," and the hanging in the football team's locker room of a banner announcing, "I am a Christian first and last…I am a member of Team Jesus Christ," have all contributed to an atmosphere of intolerance and discrimination. Freedom of religion and race is a cornerstone of our democracy. Throughout our history, people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds, have answered the call to serve in the military. It is therefore of paramount importance that those who will lead our troops, the graduates of all of our military academies, respect the cultural diversity of our society. The JWV supports the immediate institution of courses in cultural diversity at these institutions that train our military leaders. There is no place in the military or in society at large for bigotry, ethnic cleansing, anti-Semitism, and discrimination.

 

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