New Spike In Anti-Semitism Draws Nationwide Concerns

Melanie Arougueti/Staff Writer

Anti-Semitic attacks have been stacking up against the Jewish residents of New York. To the many Jews keeping up with these events from different corners of the world, communities like the one in Crown Heights are becoming a symbol of the discrimination we still face globally.

On Tuesday, Dec. 28, Jews were celebrating Hanukkah at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York when a man came in with a machete and stabbed five people who were then taken to the hospital. In the same county one month earlier, another man was stabbed on his way to synagogue. Governor Andrew Cuomo said it wasn’t an isolated incident, stating that “all across the state we’ve seen an alarming rise in anti-Semitic vandalism and hate-fueled attacks.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, a different attack took place not far from there at a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City, where two shooters killed a police officer and three bystanders. The killers have been identified as part of a hate group called Black Hebrew Israelites. This group is not Jewish and while they do not have a long-standing history like white supremacist groups, they “mostly trade in anti-Semitisim” and “view Jews as imposters,” according to Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is known for tracking extremist groups. 

This thick string of attacks on New York Jews has been ongoing. The similarity between them is that the killers who committed these horrendous crimes are part of anti-Semitic movements. They are not one group, but many. That is why they are dangerous. 

The state government of New York has not been helping. Since mayor Bill DeBlasio took office in 2014, many anti-Semitic events have taken place. Though he has promised to install more security cameras in Jewish neighborhoods in order to lessen crime, many believe he remains compliant until he places the groups responsible for this under the force of the law. 

Additionally, some non-profit organizations such as the Guardian Angels of New York, have pushed for DeBlasio to put preachers like Louis Farrakhan, to justice. Farrakhan is a minister who leads the Nation of Islam, which the Southern Poverty Law Center also considers a hate group, because their of their radical speech. In June of 2010, they sent messages to Jewish leaders, in which Farrakhan threatened,Allah and His Messiah will bring you and your people to disgrace and ruin and destroy your power and influence here and throughout the world.”

He has also affiliated himself with other anti-Semitic and homophobic people such as the chairman of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Shabazz. In April of 2002, Shabazz stated “Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel! Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!” 

The biggest question is, why are these anti-Semitic attacks not being called what they are? These are terrorist attacks. People are literally terrorizing others for their ideology. Oversimplifying the issue by using euphemisms like “attacks on Jewish neighborhoods” as DeBlasio and the media have done, only minimizes the urgency of it all. 

Many of the survivors of the Holocaust have passed away, and with them, memories of the catastrophe have been forgotten. In a new century, more and more anti-Semitic groups have lashed out. This is true even for FIU.

Last year, another PantherNOW columnist wrote an article in response to the anti-Semitism he felt his club received from other groups on campus. That same year, an anti-Semitic poster was found on campus lawns. While many walked by, most students didn’t realize it was anti-Semitic. 

These terrorist attacks on Jews happen because people have been taught to do this, one way or another. It is our job as students in a university to feel the responsibility of protecting all minority groups, regardless of race or religion.

Featured image by VillageHero on Flickr.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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