Never Again is Now – Sign On to Denounce Hate

by | Feb 28, 2017 | Actions, In Person, Learn

Another line in the sand has been crossed. Since Election Day, there has been an alarming escalation of anti-Semitic acts nationwide, starting with rants on the Internet and an increase in swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti – which has now led to an unprecedented 190 incidents against Jews and Jewish institutions in the past 45 days — with no arrests or anyone held responsible.

On Sunday, a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia became the latest victim of hate-filled acts as several hundred headstones were broken and toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, following a similar act last week where Jewish graves were desecrated in St. Louis. On Monday, at least 21 Jewish centers, including eight schools, received bomb threats in the fifth wave sweeping the nation.  

According to the Jewish Community Center Association, this brought the total of called-in bomb threats over the last two months to 89 incidents at 72 locations in 30 states and one Canadian province. Threats were also made this past week against the Manhattan headquarters and San Francisco offices of the Anti-Defamation League, a leader for decades in the fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in the U.S. and abroad.

These acts have been designed to provoke maximum fear and disruption among a targeted community in safe spaces – and embody the pervasive climate of hate and intolerance emanating from and seemingly tolerated by the administration. The lives and safety of children, seniors, teachers, religious and community leaders are being put at risk. And it’s a short leap from these real threats to acts of violence.

Jewish Community Response

Outraged Jewish leaders are calling for an aggressive federal response to put a stop to this and forcefully and unequivocally denounce this threatening behavior. Community leaders are united in their concern that in an environment without repercussions, verbal condemnations or the weight of law enforcement, people feel emboldened to continue to perpetrate these acts of hate.

The response from the administration has been deemed late and insufficient. On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the recent bomb threats “unacceptable” and “very serious and destructive practice,” while press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that President Trump is “deeply disappointed and concerned” by recent anti-Semitic incidents.

On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League issued a Security Advisory to Jewish institutions across the country urging them to review their safety procedures. At the same time, they created a petition calling for a number of actions from the Department of Justice, including a swift and full investigation. The Jewish Community Center Association of North America and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have also issued statements calling on the federal government to address the scourge of anti-Semitism and take specific actions including the creation of a task force that would bring these domestic terrorists to justice. And ahead of President Trump’s address to Congress, the Anti-Defamation League has issued a nine-point strategy to address the surge of anti-Semitism and rebuild the confidence of the Jewish community.

How You Can Help – What Impacts Some of Us, Impacts Us All

Sign on to Urge the Justice Department to investigate these threats.

Together We Will stands in solidarity with the Jewish community and calls upon our members to sign the Anti-Defamation League petition for a Department of Justice investigation. The petition calls for immediate actions that will curb anti-Semitic threats and all hate crimes in our schools and communities. It asks the Attorney General to:

  1. Launch a coordinated federal-agency wide investigation of bomb threats at synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and schools. If these threats are driven by bias, then vigorously prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.
  2. Publicly make a commitment to work with state and local law enforcement officials to enforce federal hate crime laws and investigate anti-Semitic incidents and all hate crimes.
  3. Ask every US Attorney to engage with their communities and, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials, expand partnerships and be alert to possible prosecutions in this arena.

ACTIONS

  1. Add your name to the petition to tell the Attorney General to respond.
  2. Refer concerned Jewish institutions to the Secure Community Network. They provide training for security personnel at Jewish institutions. They also provide online training and share best practices.
  3. Tweet your support: We will not be frightened. We will not be deterred. We will not be silenced. #IStandWithADL #NeverAgainIsNow

Learn More:

Anti-Defamation League: ADL Issues Security Advisory to Jewish Institutions Nationwide in Wake of 5th Wave of Bomb Threats in Recent Weeks.

Anti-Defamation League: ADL issues Strategy to Address Anti-Semitism

CNN: New Threats  to Jewish Centers.

Haaretz: Leaping to West Coast: 29 Bomb Threats Against Jewish Targets Across U.S. in Fifth

Wave.

Read the Letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Visit the Secure Community Network website – the national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America & the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Naomi Goldman is a communications and public affairs executive based in Los Angeles. She directs media, social impact and legislative advocacy campaigns around some of the nation’s most pressing social issues. She is an active member of the Jewish and pro-Israel community and serves on Together We Will’s national leadership council.