A leader of Hamas is calling for a Global Day of Jihad, Friday, causing Jewish communities worldwide to brace for potential attacks far beyond Israel’s borders.
Here in the U.S., antisemitism has been a major concern long before the terrorist organization unleashed unspeakable atrocities upon Israel. Spurred on by the current conflict in the Middle East, a wave of anti-Israel protests is already spreading more hate against the Jewish community.
Protestors in New York City recently chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
This type of rhetoric can lead to violence, and sadly Devorah Halberstam, an activist against antisemitism knows that all too well. Her oldest son, Ari, was murdered back in 1994, simply for being Jewish.
“My son’s case, in particular, was a revenge attack for what was taking place in the Middle East…my son who was completely innocent, it was an attack on a van load of identifiable Jewish students. And Ari, his van was shot up with 40 rounds of ammunition,” Halberstam told CBN News.
She calls the hate that fuels antisemitism a threat to all of civilization, not just the Jewish community.
“It’s amazing how much devastation hatred can create. But people need to look at this and say, that could be my son, and my daughter, and my sister, or my brother, or my friend, or my neighbor,” Halberstam said.
While state and local leaders see no current credible threats against their Jewish communities, they aren’t taking any chances.
In New York City, home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel, the NYPD is under orders to make sure its Jewish community has the resources it needs to feel protected. Gov. Kathy Hochul reiterating that antisemitism will not be tolerated.
“I’ll continue to fight antisemitism every place it rears its ugly head. We will defeat evil right here in New York. Let’s win this for everyone. Let’s stick together. New York stands with Israel,” Hochul said.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares tells CBN News state police have ramped up patrols of synagogues, Jewish day schools, and Jewish community centers.
“Antisemitism is the oldest form of bigotry. It seems to always come out of the shadows when there’s conflict, and right now we want to ensure that our Jewish citizens feel protected and safe and secure,” Miyares said at a community event.
Meanwhile, in Washington state, members of the Jewish community say their leaders have failed to follow through on promises of increased security.
Seattle talk show host Jason Rantz, author of the book, What’s Killing America, says liberal policies in his state have created an environment that feeds antisemitism. He blames the lack of condemnation of the Hamas attacks for causing greater anxiety among the Jewish community rather than providing a sense of security.
“We’re noticing who’s showing up to these pro-Hamas rallies, and I think people are realizing these are our neighbors. Right? These are our doctors, our lawyers, our kids’ teachers. And that is a terrifying reality that you have people celebrating the deaths of innocent Jews, and they seem to feel like it’s okay to hold that position,” Rantz told CBN News.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, a rise in antisemitic activity usually follows periods of increased hostilities between Israel and terrorist groups. The ADL is urging the Jewish community worldwide to remain vigilant.
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