In the last month, assaults on Jews have skyrocketed across America. Many voices on social media and in mainstream media used the conflict in the Middle East to justify antisemitic rhetoric, which has helped lead to this increase in violence against Jews.
Despite living in an era of heighten awareness of discrimination, Jews continue to face attacks because of their faith.
The bulk of the attacks have occurred in states with large Jewish populations, in particular New York, Florida and California. \
In New York, a Brooklyn synagogue was torched, and two teenaged Jews were assaulted by Jew-hating thugs who demanded they repeat antisemitic slurs. A 29-year-old Jewish accountant was beaten by 8-10 Jew-haters in Times Square for wearing a kippah. The attack was so bad he said, “I thought I was going to die.”
In Los Angeles, Jews were beaten by a gang yelling Jew-hating slurs. In Florida, a Jew-hater yelled antisemitic remarks at a rabbi, then dumped a bag of human feces in front of his synagogue shouting “Jews must die!”
Our community is in pain, and we are angry.
In recent weeks, rallies organized by End Jew Hatred brought together thousands of people from all religious and political denominations to condemn Jew hatred and demand an end to terrorism and attacks against Jews.
We support those who joined End Jew Hatred and took to the streets demanding action. We cannot allow people to use a conflict in the Middle East as an excuse for attacking Jews in New York, Florida, California or anywhere else in America. Hatred of Israel is not an affirmative defense to racist discrimination.
This rising tide of Jew hatred is unacceptable and deserves the attention and action of our law enforcement officials.
With my fellow leaders and allies of the Jewish community, I am demanding that state leaders take action to put a stop to it. The Lawfare Project along with ZOA, Club Z, Herut, Stand With Us, and a dozen other organizations wrote a letter to Attorneys General Letitia James of New York, Ashley Moody of Florida and Rob Bonta of California demanding they enforce the law and prosecute these assaults on Jews as hate crimes under the relevant hate crime statutes.
Hate crime legislation exists for a reason. We need action to empower and protect Jews and dismantle Jew hatred. Action starts with robust prosecutions of violent Jew-hating thugs on charges of hate crime.
This will help restore order to the streets and also reassure the Jewish community that protecting Jewish lives matters to our elected officials; particularly to those sworn to uphold our nation's hate crime laws.
For too long Jews have managed short-term security, without a clear vision for a better world. By contrast, the End Jew Hatred movement we help lead is devoted to full liberation from bigotry.
The first step is protecting Jews in the streets. For this reason, we demand that these Attorneys General follow the law of their state and vigorously prosecute the hate crimes that are targeting the Jewish community. We will not rest until we end Jew Hatred.
Brooke Goldstein is a New York City-based human rights attorney, author, and award-winning filmmaker. She serves as Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about and facilitating a response to the abuse of Western legal systems and human rights law. Read more of Brooke Goldstein's reports here.
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