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Antisemitic attacks are on the rise in the U.S. Here’s how politicians responded

The recent Gaza war has sparked violence against Jewish communities across the US. Here’s what’s happening.

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The recent Gaza war has sent waves of reaction across the U.S.

Pro-Israel supporters chant slogans during a rally in support of Israel outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles, Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

The recent 11-day war between Israel and Palestine drew attention and protests worldwide. In the U.S., demonstrations supported both sides, sometimes violently clashing, reported the Deseret News.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has also fueled a recent series of antisemitic attacks across the U.S., reported NPR.

Antisemitic attacks have occurred most frequently in Los Angeles and New York City, but reports of hate crimes against Jewish individuals have also come from Florida and Illinois. Police departments in Los Angeles and New York City expect the attacks to continue, according to CNN.

The rise of antisemitic attacks across the U.S.

Recent antisemitic violence ranges from digital to verbal to physical assaults. Other attacks have included vandalism of synagogues or Jewish community centers, reported Yahoo News and The Washington Post.

Reports from CNN, NPR and The Washington Post have all linked the recent spate of violence to heightened tensions in the Middle East. However, the recent rise in antisemitic attacks follows a broader trend of increasing hate crimes against Jewish communities.

  • In 2019, the ADL recorded over 2,100 cases of assault, vandalism or harassment of Jews in the U.S. — the highest amount ever recorded, the ADL said per NPR.
  • In 2020, despite widespread stay-at-home orders, the ADL recorded its third-highest number of cases, NPR reported.

ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt told CNN, “We’ve seen a series of acts of vandalism and harassment, and the abuse online ... has been staggering,”

Organizations and politicians respond

Friday, five major Jewish organizations sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to condemn the attacks. The organizations warned that repercussions for Jews in the U.S. could be long-lasting, according to Yahoo News and NPR.

Sunday, Jewish Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., condemned the attacks, comparing them to the hate crimes that other minorities — including Asian, Black and Latino minorities— have experienced recently, said NPR.

  • President Biden tweeted Monday, “The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad — it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.”
  • Vice President Kamala Harris also tweeted Monday, “The surge in anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish community in the U.S. and around the world is despicable — it must be called out, condemned, and stopped. As a country, we must stand united against hate of any kind.”

On Monday, the House passed a broad resolution condemning antisemitism and racism, reported Fox News.