Anti-Semitism On The Rise In New York And Other U.S.Cities

Tags: Currents Anti-Semitism, Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Judaism, National News, New York City

Currents News Staff

Communities across America are seeing a very disturbing trend of anti-Jewish violence.

Recent examples include the deadly attack in Poway, California just weeks ago, and less than a year ago, the slaughter at the Tree Of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The shooting in Pittsburgh last October saw 11 lives lost in the worst act of anti-Semitic violence in American history.  Exactly six months apart, the Poway shooting the following April left one worshipper dead.

A new report shows that assaults against Jewish people more than doubled in 2018.

In New York, a member of the Orthodox Jewish community was beaten in the streets of Brooklyn, while another in the city had been sucker punched.

In Los Angeles, a driver screamed disturbing hate speech at passing pedestrians of Jewish faith.

“We’re talking some of the highest numbers of incidents that we’ve ever seen. It’s really kind of unfolded itself in a very ugly way,” said George Selim, Senior Vice President of Programs at the Anti-Defamation League.

For a third year in a row the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says anti-Semitic incidents in America rose to near historic highs, a physical manifestation of hate in 2018.    

“The threat environment today is one that we haven’t seen in this country in recent memory,” said Selim.

George Selim oversees the ADL’s Center on Extremism. He says the threat is homegrown, and overwhelmingly far-right and white.   

“There’s this concept within white supremacists circles of accelerationism. That means that individuals feel like the white race is in danger and they need to act now,” he explained.

The evidence of the growing threat is plain to see, as some synagogues are now pockmarked with bullet holes.

“I was centimeters away from death. I still feel the power of the bullets flying,” said Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who survived the Poway shooting California shooting.

Goldstein came to the area in the 1980’s with a dream to build a safe oasis for the Jewish community.

“It’s so hard to go back to the moment. It’s unimaginable. Right there in the lobby, ten feet away from me 15 feet away from me, standing there. His feet spread apart in the aiming position right at me,” Goldstein recalled.

The 19-year-old white male suspect wrote of killing Jewish people in an open letter before the attack.

“I feel no remorse. I only wish I killed more,” he wrote.   

The shooter said his inspiration came from the slaughter of 50 Muslim men and women at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the massacre of 11 Jewish people at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, both of which police say were perpetrated by white supremacists.

“You’re never safe again, you don’t feel safe again. If this could happen to us, it can happen anywhere and everywhere,” said Rabbi Goldstein.