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Behind the Aegis

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:58 AM
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America Awakes to Anti-Semitism

A huge spike in anti-Semitism across America is occurring. Jewish community centers in particular are targets of bomb threats and vandalism. For all Americans, this should be deeply worrisome. On March 7, all 100 senators sent a letter to Trump administration officials calling for "swift action" against this surge of Jew-hatred. This is a very welcome development, and the president needs to respond with action.

During his speech to Congress on Feb. 28, Trump finally condemned this outpouring of anti-Semitism, (an outpouring which began when his presidential campaign did). But the president must do much more in both in his language and his actions to denounce anti-Semitism. It is not enough to simply "condemn hate and evil" on the same day that he claims that such anti-Semitism was designed to make him look bad, as he did. Every bomb threat, every cemetery desecration, every slur must be addressed and countered proactively.

Trump needs to use what Teddy Roosevelt famously called the "bully pulpit" to forcefully condemn anti-Semitism, declaring it anathema to this country, in his administration and around the world. Further, as the elected leader of the United States, Trump needs to put forward a plan to address the global uptick in hate speech and hate crimes involving not just anti-Semitism but also Islamophobia and other language and actions directed against any person.

It is imperative that the president order the FBI to investigate and the Justice Department to prosecute every hate crime under our federal laws and to provide resources and support to states to prosecute the same actions under state law. The president has at his disposal the Federal Hate Crime Statute of 1968 and the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In fact, the recent attacks on Jewish cemeteries in Kansas City should be investigated and processed under the "damage to religious property" statute of the Church Arson Prevention Act, which "prohibits the intentional defacement, damage or destruction of religious property because of the religious nature of the property."

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Mar 18, 2017, 04:31 AM (2 replies)

A Dangerous Rise In Anti-Semitism: The Past Is Present

Daily reports of anti-Semitism in different areas of the U.S. are alarming many in the Jewish community and beyond. Last year, there were 600 hate crimes against Jews on American college campuses and more than 130 such instances, including Swastikas painted on doorways, slurs, and physical assaults, have occurred since the beginning of 2017 less than three months ago.

Many American Jews had become complacent in the feeling that they were living in halcyon times where anti-Semitism was a thing of the past, something they would never have to confront in their own lifetimes. And yet, current events are now eerily reminiscent of a difficult and tragic past that Jews experienced in various parts of the world at different points throughout history. This ugly, age-old phenomenon is sending jolts through a forward-thinking society that prides itself on embracing diversity. The resurgence of anti-Semitism is not an isolated event – racism and intolerance of other groups have also increased.

Why is anti-Semitism rearing its head in the U.S. and what can be done?

Over the last year, as the presidential campaign heated up, the political scene became increasingly polarized. The moderate perspective nearly disappeared as the candidates’ rhetoric attracted voters to the ideology of the far right and far left. The resurgence of anti-Semitism is occurring across the political spectrum. On the far right, anti-Semitism is instigated by hyper-nationalism as it has been for millennia. American exceptionalism has been conflated with anger and fear directed against those who are perceived as different. Even Jews who have been an integral part of American society for centuries have been targeted by a small cadre of agitated “believers.”

On the far left, Jews and Israel are viewed and vilified as privileged and influential elites who wield control over U.S. banking and political systems. For some “progressives”, anyone with power is automatically suspect and corrupt. As politics have become more polarized, so has the media. With the proliferation of online outlets, everyone now has the option of reading only those news sources that espouse their own viewpoint and engaging only with those who speak their own political language. This reduces peaceful discourse and amplifies and exacerbates the national polarization and vitriol against specific groups.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Mar 16, 2017, 05:21 AM (19 replies)

Report: US Anti-Semitism, Hate Crime Up 20% in 2016


Hate crimes, most notably attacks against Jews and Muslims, have risen sharply in several Major American cities in 2016, starting with the presidential campaign and continuing since, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Previously unpublished data by the university’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show double-digit increases in hate crimes in New York City, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Columbus, Ohio last year.

There were 1,037 incidents, a 23.3% increase from 2015, in the nine areas the report examined: New York; Washington; Chicago; Philadelphia; Montgomery County, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Seattle; Long Beach, California; and Cincinnati. Here are a few striking notes:

New York City saw a rise of 24% in hate crimes, the highest in more than a decade.

New York state had an increase of 20% in hate crimes.

Chicago had a rise of 24% in hate crimes, highest since 2010.

Cincinnati, Ohio, had a phenomenal jump in hate crimes by 38%.



No real surprises, the only "real" surprise is the "sudden interest" we see from certain segments of society. Of course, there are those who still will find any excuse to change the subject or 'explain away' anti-Semitism, including by redefining it.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Mar 15, 2017, 05:28 AM (2 replies)

Poll: 87% of Democrats, 53% of Republicans Say Anti-Semitism A Serious Problem

(JTA) — Seventy percent of American voters see anti-Semitism in the country as a “very” or “somewhat serious” problem, up from 49 percent a month ago, according to a new poll.

The responses differed by party identification, with an overwhelming majority of Democrats, 87 percent, seeing anti-Semitism as a “very” or “somewhat serious” problem, and slightly more than half of Republicans, 53 percent, seeing it as such, according to the poll released Thursday.

The survey was was conducted by Quinnipiac University at the beginning of March.

Jewish institutions, including community centers and Anti-Defamation League offices, have been hit with more than 100 bomb threats so far this year, all of them hoaxes. In the past three weeks, Jewish cemeteries were vandalized in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Rochester, New York.

Respondents were split on President Donald Trump’s response to the bomb threats and vandalism, with 37 percent approving and 38 percent disapproving. Most Republicans, 71 percent, approved of Trump’s response, while most Democrats, 66 percent, disapproved.

The poll also found that 63 percent of American voters think hatred and prejudice has increased since Trump’s election, while two percent say it has decreased and 32 percent say it has stayed the same.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Mar 13, 2017, 12:22 AM (1 replies)

Shots fired at Equality Center first act of serious vandalism in 12 years at downtown site, director

Source: Tulsa World

Surveillance video: Shots fired at Tulsa’s Equality Center damage window Not eight hours after damage from a pellet gun was discovered at Tulsa’s Equality Center early Monday, a man came into the lobby yelling profanities and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric at front-desk staff.

At least one person had fired several shots from a pellet gun at the entrance of the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center about 12:20 a.m.

Police located 13 pellets that hit the front door and windows of the building at Fourth Street and Kenosha Avenue downtown, police spokesman Leland Ashley said.

Surveillance video shows a white four-door pickup drive west in front of the building. Several shots were fired from the vehicle.

The pellets did not penetrate the reinforced window, said Toby Jenkins, the center’s executive director. An employee discovered the damage later in the morning.

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/crimewatch/pellets-fired-at-equality-center-first-act-of-serious-vandalism/article_cb2b4ec5-2180-5e99-8f6e-204249723ce6.html

This is a LGBT center.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Mar 7, 2017, 01:51 AM (7 replies)
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