30 December 2019 00:38

Israel Antisemitism Florida

Jewish Democratic group after anti-Semitic incidents: Trump is "not absolved of responsibility"

In the aftermath of a series of alleged anti-Semitic incidents in New York City, the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) shared a statement with Salon saying that President Donald Trump is "not absolved of responsibility" for his role "in legitimizing and normalizing the rise of hatred that has afflicted our community in recent years." "President Trump is not solely to blame for the rise of anti-Semitic violence – and we do not yet know the political beliefs or motivations of the perpetrators of recent attacks – but the president is not absolved of responsibility for emboldening hateful ideologies and extremists in our country," JDCA Executive Director Halie Soifer said in a statement on Sunday. There have been a series of alleged anti-Semitic attacks in the New York City area through Hanukkah 2019, including stabbings at a rabbi's home in Monsey, New York on Saturday that left five people hospitalized. A suspect named Grafton Thomas was arrested after midnight with "blood all over him." Prior to the Monsey stabbings, there were a number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the New York City area. On Tuesday a 25-year-old man in Brooklyn reported to police that a group of people taunted him with anti-Semitic slurs and one threw a drink at him; a 56-year-old Jewish Brooklyner claimed that he was punched after being approached by a group of people, also on Tuesday. A 40-year-old man said that an individual blocked his path and punched him in the face while he was walking home on Wednesday, which was also Christmas Day, while a woman was accused of using her bag to attack a 34-year-old Jewish mother in front of her child on Thursday.

Community members, including Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, left, celebrate the arrival of a new Torah near the rabbi's residence in Monsey, N.Y. A day earlier, a knife-wielding man stormed into the home and stabbed multiple people as they celebrated Hanukkah in the Orthodox Jewish community. NEW YORK, NY – When a suspect walked into the home of a rabbi celebrating Hanukkah and stabbed five celebrants it was the latest in a week of anti-Semitic attacks in the nation's most demographically diverse area — and an incident that reverberated across the country. "Again, here we are: mourning another act of senseless anti-Semitic violence committed against our community and praying for those who were the victims of this hate," Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement Sunday following the attack a day earlier in Monsey, New York. "This is at least the 10th anti-Semitic incident to hit the New York/New Jersey area in just the last week. The ADL defines assaults as incidents where people's bodies are targeted with violence accompanied by evidence of anti-Semitic animus or in a manner that attacks Jews for their religious affiliation.

Ofir Dayan, 25, president of Students Supporting Israel at New York's Columbia University, said the concern is strong among college students as well, adding that she has been harassed. It is being received and propagated in the real world and causes anti-Semitic extremists to take the life of innocent people, just because they are Jewish," she told The Associated Press. Concern over the attacks prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to direct the New York State Police to patrol Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods across the state. Bernstein, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey, said while there are no longitudinal studies to fully explain why the incidents are occurring, he believes part of the issue is changing neighborhood demographics and stereotypes about Jews. The knife attack Saturday evening that wounded five people attending a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi's home in Monsey, New York, has prompted swift condemnation from prominent New York leaders, members of Congress, and presidential candidates, many of whom sounded fearful about the spread of anti-Semitic violence in the United States.

In an appearance Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, he told host Jake Tapper that the New York City area — which has recently seen multiple high profile acts of violence against its Jewish communities — is in the middle of "epidemic" of anti-Semitic incidents. "At this point, we are in an epidemic in New York City, of all places, for the Jewish community" Oren Segal, VP of the Anti-Defamation League, tells @jaketapper in response to the Hanukkah celebration stabbings in New York.