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Israeli Lawmakers Criticize Slack Response to US Anti-Semitism

03-08-2017
Graffiti at UC Davis
Graffiti at UC Davis

JERUSALEM, Israel – A dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents recently has marred the American landscape. On Monday, vandals carved a swastika in the door of a synagogue in Ohio and on Tuesday, four more Anti-Defamation League offices received bomb threats, bringing the three-month total to 140.

In response, the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs convened an emergency session Tuesday to discuss this anti-Semitic wave.  

Opposition members blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party for not doing enough.  

"Jews have always fought for the rights of minorities. I am urging the Israeli government to put the theory of being the leader of the Jewish people into practice by standing up for Jewish communities in the United States," MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) told the Tazpit Press Service by email. "We must defend them, as they have done for us so many times."

Across the ocean in Washington DC, all 100 U.S. senators signed a letter to officials in the Trump administration asking them to address the rising tide of anti-Semitic incidents across the country.

The bi-partisan letter, drafted by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fl., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mi., asked that increased federal resources be used to combat the incidents.

In the letter, the senators urged state and local law enforcement officials to step up their responses to the threats.

"We write to underscore the need for swift action with regard to the deeply troubling series of anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish day schools, synagogues and other buildings affiliated with Jewish organizations or institutions across the country," the letter stated.

"This is completely unacceptable and un-American. We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities."

 

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