Thus far the year 2021 has been marred by hate crimes, biases, and unprovoked attacks against disenfranchised groups: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and now the Jewish communities have been targeted across the nation after deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Although there was a ceasefire late last week, tensions have still continued around the world. Apparent hate crime incidents, including vandalism against synagogues and street assaults, have been reported across the country, including here in our city of New York, Los Angeles, suburban Chicago, and South Florida, as large-scale protests have been held.
Here in our city, numerous attacks have publicly taken place in Times Square and the diamond district in Midtown Manhattan. In response to recent violence, the police have stepped up its presence among the city’s Jewish communities. Prior to President Biden and Vice President Harris releasing statements regarding these antisemitism attacks, five prominent American Jewish organizations – the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox union and Hadassah – urged the administration to speak out against antisemitism last week as the string of attacks were being reported. In a letter, the groups have asked the White House to “speak out forcefully against this dangerous trend and stand alongside the Jewish community in the face of this wave of hate before it gets any worse.”
The White House confirmed it received the letter and is working alongside the community organizations to condemn and respond to the “disturbing rise” in incidents. The ugly truth is this rise in hate is nothing new. It’s been an ongoing pandemic within our nation that has given birth to rallies against racial discrimination and police brutality, AAPI hate that came from propaganda regarding the origins of COVID-19, or antisemitic violence. The surge in racial attacks against any community in the U.S. and around the world – must be called out, condemned, and stopped. We are asking you, your family, and your friends to stand united against hate of any kind and speak out against all forms of racial or religious discrimination and xenophobia. We would like to conclude with this quote, “You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity.” – Bobby Seale.