Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 - 10 of Tammuz, 5781
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Five American Jewish groups call on President Biden to act against antisemitism

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Multiple antisemitic incidents occurred over the past two weeks in the U.S. and around the world in the wake of the  conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Five of the U.S. largest Jewish organizations have sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for immediate action against antisemitism, after multiple antisemitic incidents over the past two weeks in the wake of the  conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League; the Jewish Federations of North America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America signed the letter, which expressed “grave concern over the recent surge of antisemitic attacks here in the United States and around the world, and over social media.”

“We fear that the way the conflict has been used to amplify antisemitic rhetoric, embolden dangerous actors and attack Jews and Jewish communities will have ramifications far beyond these past two weeks,” the letter said.

it noted “serious examples of physical violence include an attack against Jews outside of a restaurant in Los Angeles, on the streets of South Florida, and New York’s Times Square, and against synagogues in Tucson and Skokie.”

The groups asked the president to appoint a special envoy to monitor and combat Antisemitism worldwide, as well as a White House Jewish Liaison “to have clear channels of communication between the White House and the American Jewish community.”

The letter asks President Biden “convene — in person, if possible — stakeholders from the Jewish community, as well as key officials from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the FBI, to discuss the current events and threats, and action steps to address them.”

The groups also asked to take action against antisemitism on college campuses and invest in security enhancements for religious institutions.

In New York, the  Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force said it is investigating multiple instances of Muslim hate crimes against Jews. In one of the cases, several people shouting anti-Semitic slurs attacked Jewish people while pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated in Times Square.

A man was arrested in connection with the incidents, according to the New York Post.  Vernon Stevens, 55, of Brooklyn first shouted, “F–king Jews!” at a couple in traditional Hasidic garb near West 45th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. A Jewish teenager, who did not know the couple, then got involved and yelled back at Stevens as the man harassed the couple. That’s when the suspect shoved his fingers in the teen’s face and called the boy, “F–king Jew!,” police reported.

Stevens was charged with aggravated harassment in the second-degree, which includes harassment as a hate crime, and harassment in the first-degree, cops said.

‘Since the latest round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, there has been a 50 percent increase in anti-Semitic acts in the United States, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said.

ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt pointed to a number of incidents in several states, including two incidents this week in Los Angeles, where supporters of the Palestinians attacked Jewish men sitting outside a restaurant, and also threw bottles at homes of Jews that had the traditional mezuzah parchment on their doors.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in our city,” tweeted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that they would “not tolerate anti-Semitic violent gang harassment and intimidation.”

 

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