According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), there has been a 75% rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the last two weeks, sparking concern and calls for President Joe Biden’s administration to take action.
“Well, there’s no question that oftentimes in the past when there would be a conflagration in the Middle East, there might be an uptick in anti-Semitism here,” CEO of ADL Jonathan Greenblatt told CBS News.
“But the last two weeks, it’s been more drastic and frankly, more dangerous,” he added.
“In total, over that two week period, a 75% surge. … Now we’re seeing Jewish people, you know, diners at a restaurant, pedestrians on the sidewalk, worshipers going to synagogue being harassed, being brutalized by people wearing keffiyehs and Palestinian flags,” he said.
“You can have strong opinions about what’s happening in China, but there’s no excuse to attack Asian Americans … and there is no excuse, there is no pretext that permits assaulting and attacking Jews in this country,” Greenblatt said.
“We’ve been heartened because people, again, are coming together and saying ‘enough,’ and that, to us, is really very encouraging,” he added.
"Oftentimes in the past where there would be a conflagration in Middle East, there might be an uptick in anti-Semitism here," CEO of the Anti-Defamation League says.
"But the last two weeks, it has been more drastic and frankly, more dangerous." pic.twitter.com/BXf6eXzpbH
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 27, 2021
Greenblatt also told CBSN Thursday that the ADL is calling on the Biden administration to appoint a liaison to the Jewish community at the White House.
Greenblatt said, “We want to see the administration appoint a Jewish liaison at the White House.”
He added, “We’ve been waiting for them to name a position at the State Department that is still vacant, a special envoy for anti-Semitism, and desperately Congress and the White House should work together to fund a program called security grants for nonprofits.”
“It already exists, and whether it’s synagogues or black churches or mosques, we know that houses of worship are vulnerable,” Greenblatt said. “The DHS has dollars it can provide to fortify our vulnerable houses of worship, including synagogues, and that program should be increased — the White House, the administration, on a bipartisan basis could work with Congress and really get something done there. That would make a big difference.”
On May 20, the ADL reported:
An analysis of Twitter in the days following the recent outbreak of violence showed more than 17,000 tweets which used variations of the phrase, “Hitler was right” between May 7 and May 14, 2021. ADL has also seen an increase in on-the-ground activity that demonizes Israel and that has crossed at times into antisemitism.
The information comes as many on the Left have repeatedly spoken out against Israel in a way that is being criticized by some as “anti-Semitic.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, Democratic Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Elaine Luria (VA), Kathy Manning (NC), and Dean Phillips (MN) wrote a letter Wednesday discussing the anti-Semitic violence that has recently hit large cities in America.
“The lawmakers said that ‘elected officials’ have driven antisemitic sentiment by falsely calling Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and accusing the Jewish state of committing acts of ‘terrorism,'” The Daily Wire noted.
“Elected officials have used reckless, irresponsible antisemitic rhetoric,” the letter said. “These include repeated, unacceptable, and blatantly antisemitic statements made by a Member of Congress comparing facemasks and other COVID-19 public health measures to ‘what happened in Nazi Germany’ during the Holocaust.”
“We also reject comments from Members of Congress accusing Israel of being an ‘apartheid state’ and committing ‘act[s] of terrorism.’ These statements are antisemitic at their core and contribute to a climate that is hostile to many Jews,” the letter added. “We must never forget that less than eighty years ago, within the lifetime of our parents and grandparents, six million people were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust because they were Jews. Israel has long provided the Jewish people with a homeland in which they can be safe after facing centuries of persecution.”
The letter continued, “Sadly, we have learned from our history that when this type of violence and inflammatory rhetoric goes unaddressed, it can fuel increasing hatred and violence, and lead to unspeakable acts against Jews. That is why we need a united, bipartisan, national-level commitment to confront and address the threat of antisemitism head-on. Antisemitism is wrong, and it deserves to be unequivocally condemned by all.”
This article has been revised for clarity.