President Biden signed a hate-crimes bill Thursday to combat violence against Asian Americans, and now a prominent rabbi is urging him to address a surge of attacks on Jews.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museums of Tolerance said he supports the Asian hate-crimes bill. But members of the president’s party, he contends, are only exacerbating a wave of anti-Semitism that has risen since Israel began defending itself against rocket attacks by Iran-sponsored Hamas.
“When you have political leaders like the ‘Squad’ and those who agree with them including influencers and entertainers and the media that are giving a moral equivalency and parroting talking points of Hamas, a terrorist organization … it means that the usual people we would hope to bring down the level of the rhetoric and the hatred, it’s not going to be automatic,” he said, FoxNews.com reported.
Squad members Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. and Rashida Tlaib, R-Mich. – who are both Muslim – said Thursday the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after a week-and-a-half of fighting is not enough, insisting Israel is “an apartheid state” that must be held accountable for “war crimes.”
In a live interview Friday with John Roberts on “America’s Newsroom,” Cooper said the support in Congress is a “great victory” for Hamas and its parent, the Muslim Brotherhood.
“There’s no question we are beyond the tipping point in terms of anti-Semitic hate,” he said. “We saw it actually start in Germany and then a 500% spike in one week in London.”
Cooper said the same rhetoric is being heard on both sides of the Atlantic – “death to the Jews, caravans of cars, we’re going to rape your women.”
He called on Silicon Valley social media platforms to stop providing “the fuel to continue to spread this kind of hatred.”
Politically, he said, Democrats in Congress have shifted from talking about the issues of settlements, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and a two-state solution.
“That’s not what we’re hearing from the Squad and associates,” he said. “They’ve pivoted to the talking points for Hamas.”
Hamas, according to its charter, was created for the purpose of helping eliminate the Jewish state and ultimately fulfilling the Muslim Brotherhood’s objective of bringing the world under the submission of Islamic law.
The supreme leader of Hamas’ chief supporter Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was in agreement with the Squad on Friday, calling for international courts to punish “the terrorist, atrocious Zionist regime” for the “massacre of Palestinian children and women over these 12 days.”
The ayatollah, in his tweet, did not mention the fact that Israel was defending itself against the firing of more that 4,000 Iran-supplied rockets at Israeli civilians from dense Gaza neighborhoods — a typical Hamas tactic in which it uses Palestinian families as human shields, exploiting any casualties to gain international support.
Another important duty is pursuing the punishment of the terrorist, atrocious Zionist regime. The massacre of Palestinian children and women over these 12 days should not be left unpunished.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) May 21, 2021
Cooper said the pivot in Congress from a political debate to adopting the objectives of Hamas legitimizes what is happening on American streets at the moment.
Across the nation, Jews have been the targets of death threats, hate speech and violent physical attacks from New York to California, including Illinois, Arizona and Utah.
In Los Angeles, an Orthodox Jewish man was chased down by two vehicles as the passengers screamed “Allahu Akbar!” On Thursday in Manhattan, pro-Palestinian demonstrators were videoed harassing and beating pro-Israel counter-demonstrators, shooting fireworks at onlookers and spitting on diners at a restaurant.
See the incident in Los Angeles:
Earlier, an older Jewish man in New York City was viciously beaten by a gang of pro-Palestinians for wearing a Yarmulke as he attempted to cross a street in Times Square.
A New Yorker who was confronted by a pro-Palestinian mob on the way to his synagogue this week said the attacks aren’t “about Israel and Gaza.”
“My people are being targeted across the United States in broad daylight,” he told Fox News. “This is textbook anti-Semitism, and we will continue to live in danger until the public starts to recognize it for what it is.”
He said wearing a Kippah in New York City “always felt safer than anywhere else in the world.”
“I’ll never take mine off, but I will for the first time have to teach my children to be careful if they choose to wear theirs publicly,” he said.
Former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, captured some of the violence in Manhattan on Thursday.
HAPPENING NOW: Palestinian harassment fleet drives by Jews in Manhattan, threatening violence while screaming antisemitic slurs.
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) May 20, 2021
‘Shaking and terrified for their life’
The Anti-Defamation League said that since the Hamas attacks on Israel, it has seen a significant increase in reported verbal and physical attacks against Jews in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa and North America.
Synagogues across the United States have reported vandalism, swastikas and pro-Palestinian propaganda. In the U.S., the ADL said it has received nearly 200 reports of possible anti-Semitic incidents, compared to 131 the week before the conflict began.
Sickening! In a blatant act of antisemitism, pro-Palestinian supporters vandalized a synagogue in Skokie, Illinois, with a “Free Palestine” sign and smashed several of the synagogue’s windows. pic.twitter.com/emUKYiSBcD
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) May 20, 2021
In Englewood, New Jersey, a pro-Palestinian demonstrator confronted a Jewish family with three young children on their way home from synagogue, leaving the family “shaking and terrified for their life.”
The mother told Fox News a black BMW sedan pulled next to them and someone shouted, “Free Palestin, F— the Jews, you mother f—ers. Go back to where you came from. Get our of here.”
“They tried to pull over to another family who started running away. My children were shaking and terrified,” the mother said. “My children who play outside my backyard all the time now refuse to be outside alone. They are shaken up and worried.”
In Los Angeles, pro-Palestinian demonstrators attacked Jewish diners in a violent brawl caught on camera. Members of a car caravan flying Palestinian flags drove by chanting “Death to Jews!”
In the same neighborhood, a Jewish man was chased by two cars with Palestinian flags apparently attempting to run him over. The occupants chanted “Allahu akbar.”
In Salt Lake City, a swastika was drawn on the front door of a Chabad Community Center Synagogue over the weekend. The rabbi, Avremi Zippel, told Fox News “we’ve arrived at a place where Jews are debating whether they should walk in the streets of the United States with a visible Yarmulke on.”
He said the community will “persevere through this as we have all phases of our storied history,” but “the silence surrounding the cheapening of Jewish blood is deafening and downright sad.”
In Tucson, Arizona, a synagogue was vandalized days after it reopened for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Miami, a group of men driving by a family headed home from a synagogue started yelling anti-Semitic slurs and throwing throwing garbage at them. The men yelled “Free Palestine!,” “Die Jew!” “F– you, Jew” and “I’m gonna rape your wife.”
An armed driver who witnessed the attack eventually intervened and chased the attackers away.
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