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AOC: ‘Bad faith actors’ falsely say ‘people of color’ are Jew-haters – –

Posted By on June 15, 2024

(June 13, 2024 / JNS)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that antisemitism was antithetical to American and progressive values, and that bad faith actors falsely accuse black women in particular of being antisemitic.

Antisemitism is an assault on our values as Americans and especially as progressives, she said during an online webinar.

It is also important to say here in this moment and during that conversation that criticism of the Israeli government is not inherently antisemitic and criticism of Zionism is not automatically antisemitic, she added.

The congresswoman, who is known as AOC, said that when the Jewish community is threatened, the progressive movement is undermined, adding, it is also true that accusations and false accusations of antisemitism are wielded against people of color and women of color by bad-faith political actors.

This weaponizing [of] antisemitism is used to divide us and create a false choice between the fight for Jewish safety and the calls for Palestinian self-determination, she said.

Sam Markstein, national political director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, called the congresswoman part of the Hamas caucus, expressing shock that the Democratic Party has this much difficulty calling out antisemitism. He added that instead of despicable race-baiting, AOC should focus on fighting bigotry in her own ranks.

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AOC: 'Bad faith actors' falsely say 'people of color' are Jew-haters - -

Notes from the safest place in Europe for Jews – –

Posted By on June 15, 2024

(June 11, 2024 / JNS)

This is a perilous time to be a Jew. The world responded to the greatest mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust with a surge of antisemitism and sympathy for those who committed the atrocities of Oct. 7, rather than its victims. Israels efforts to eradicate the genocidal terrorists of Hamas who launched that attack have not just been opposed but demonized in a way that enlightened liberal opinion did not condemn the orgy of murder, rape, torture, kidnapping and wanton destruction that occurred on that day.

And while Jews everywhere celebrated the heroic rescue of four hostages this past weekend by Israeli security forces, the same mainstream corporate media that has been acting as Hamass stenographers throughout the eight months of the current war reacted by emphasizing the deaths of the Palestinians holding them captive.

Yet as bad as the situation has become in the United States, where elite college campuses have become hotbeds of support for Hamas, it is arguably worse in Europe. It is not just a matter of the governments of Western Europe opposing Israels military campaign and seeking to prevent the defeat of Hamas in concert with the Biden administration. Spain, Norway and Ireland chose to reward the Palestinians for their terrorism by formally recognizing their fictional statehood. More than that, a sinister red-green alliance of leftists and supporters of political Islam has created a situation in which Jewish communities throughout the continent feel themselves under siege. Many are choosing not to wear religious markers such as kippahs and Stars of David, and still others have taken off the mezuzahs once affixed to their homes.

But not in Hungary.

Spend a week in that Eastern European country, as I just did, and the one thing you can count on is that you wont see its landmarks being the site of mass demonstrations of supporters of jihad and Hamas terror, as is the case elsewhere, including the United States. That is something that would be unimaginable right now in America, but the reason is that the Hungarian government has banned pro-Hamas demonstrations. Theyve deemed it an open expression of antisemitism and a threat to public order. Their rationale is to treat pro-Hamas activism as morally equivalent to open advocacy for Nazism, which in Hungary and most other places in Europe is illegal.

A safe place in Europe

As I discovered in conversations with both liberal and Orthodox Jews, as well as non-Jews, the Jewish community in Budapest feels safe in a way that is not the case in London, Paris or Berlin. When you visit Hungary, no one tells you not to wear kippahs or Jewish stars in public. Orthodox Jews are not an uncommon sight on the streets of the Hungarian capital and act as if they have no fear of being attacked for their beliefs.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian government is easily the Jewish states best friend in Europe. As knowledgeable sources have made clear to me, Budapest is Jerusalems only reliable ally within the European Union, always ready to disrupt the E.U. Commissions quest for consensus on behalf of its consistent anti-Israel agenda, sometimes displaying more willingness to fight supporters of the Palestinians than the Israelis themselves.

Understanding Orbn

What is the reason for this alliance that, at least on its surface, has little basis in the history of the Jewish experience in Hungary? It boils down to the decisions of a single highly controversial person: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbn.

Orbn, widely despised by American liberals, is routinely denounced as a tyrant and opponent of democracy, or as an ally of the even more-hated Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hes often accused of being an antisemite because of his long-standing feud with the Hungarian-born leftist billionaire George Soros, who remains a convenient punching bag for Orbn and his Fidesz Party. Fidesz is often likened to other right-wing populist parties that are on the rise in Europe. Such comparisons, as well as those of Orbn to former U.S. President Donald Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he has close relations, are simplifications or just plain misleading. Love him or hate him, Orbn is a remarkable and singular figure. Though this is just one prism through which one can view him, his stance as a bulwark against European antisemitism needs to be both understood and appreciated.

His career began in the last decade of the Soviet Empire when, as a young law student and activist, he was part of the opposition to the Communist government. It is no small irony (and one that is often pointed out) that he earned a scholarship to Oxford University in Great Britainfrom the Soros Foundation since during that era, the billionaires philanthropy was primarily focused on promoting freedom behind the Iron Curtain. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the birth of Hungarian democracy, Fidesz grew from its student-activist origins into a parliamentary faction that was considered a moderate liberal party. But under Orbans leadership, it turned to the right on social issues while becoming populist in terms of its opposition to pure market capitalism.

In a stunning victory, Orbn led Fidesz to power for the first time in Hungarys 1998 elections. He served as prime minister for four years in what was generally considered a successful term in office but failed to win re-election in 2002.

Not unlike Netanyahu, who also served a single term as Israels prime minister from 1996 to 1999 before being defeated, Orbn learned from his mistakes. His victory in 2010 was also similar to that of Netanyahu, whose return to power in 2009 was as much the function of the political incompetence and the abysmal policy failures of his opponents as his own brilliance. Orban became prime minister again after liberal leader and Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsny (whose wife, Klra Dobrev, who is Jewish, now leads one of the parties opposing Orbn) was caught on tape boasting of lying nonstop to the public to hold onto power.

Is he an authoritarian?

Since then, Orbn has consolidated and retained power by skillful maneuvering with the aid of wealthy supporters who dominate the Hungarian media. His government has been notoriously corrupt, though whether it is more corrupt than those in many other post-Communist nations (such as Ukraine, whose far more flagrant political and economic corruption has been ignored because of the Russian invasion) is debatable.

With only slightly more than three decades of experience as a free country, Hungary is far from being a perfect democracy. And while he is routinely denounced as an authoritarian, there are no political prisons or gulags in Hungary, and his opponents are free to denounce him wherever they like. Though Orbn ruthlessly uses the advantages of incumbency to keep winning elections to the dismay of foreign critics, his political opponents have gained ground in recent years and control the countrys largest cities, including Budapest.

Indeed, even as right-wing populist parties won victories across the continent in Sundays elections for the parliament of the European Union, Fidesz saw its margin of support reduced because of the emergence of a new party led by a former supporter Peter Magyar, who ran on an anti-corruption platform.

All of this means that for all its flaws, Orbns Hungary is a democracy. His supporters dont dominate Hungarys press to any greater degree than the left dominates the corporate media in the United States or Israel. That many of those who call him an authoritarian cheered on the Russia collusion hoax employed by Democrats to hamstring the Trump administration, the conspiracy of Internet moguls and mainstream media outlets to cover up evidence of Biden family corruption in the final weeks of the 2020 election and then the attempt by Democrats to bankrupt and then imprison the leader of the opposition to the current U.S. government (something Orbn has never stooped to) shows how lacking in credibility that charge truly is.

But if Orbn isnt really an authoritarian, then why does the left hate him so much?

Part of it stems from a 2014 speech in which he said his vision for Hungary was for an illiberal democracy. Since then, neither he nor his allies have ever been able to adequately explain what that phrase meant. But suffice it to say that it represented a desire to push back against the free-market capitalist spirit that dominates the E.U., which, in the view of some of the unions smaller countries, stands for the domination of the continents economy by Germany and other Western powers.

It also symbolizes his embrace of social conservatism. Hungary, like the rest of Europe, is afflicted by rapidly declining birth rates, as well as a collapse of faith in traditional values and faith. Orbn has prioritized policies that reward families for having more children, and he opposes the embrace of the LGBTQ+ agenda in a way that no other European or American leader has done. Still, there are no anti-gay laws or prohibitions, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal in Hungary. Yet unlike in the rest of Europe or the United States, public buildings in Budapest are not bedecked with rainbow flags during the gay-pride month of June.

But as grievous as that may be in the eyes of many people, it is his stand against unlimited immigration, especially from the Middle East and North Africa, that has earned Orbn the enduring enmity of liberals. While much of the E.U.and specifically, Germany under the leadership of former Chancellor Angela Merkelthrew open the gates of their nations to largely Muslim emigrants and millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war in the 2010s, Orbn viewed this wave of immigration as a threat to Hungarys identity and future.

While much of Europe is being transformed by mass immigration, Hungary has held the line against it and helped lead other Eastern European countries to do the same.

The difference in Hungary

With memories of the long Soviet occupation, as well as their nations heroic and tragic 1956 revolt against communism (during which the United States and NATO never lifted a finger to help them) not forgotten, it would be a mistake to see Orbn or most Hungarians having much sympathy for Putin or Russia. However, they also have the same history of resentment against Ukrainians and are deeply suspicious of the West. Their history as the only non-Slavic or Germanic people in the region, coupled with having a language that is unrelated to any other in Europe other than Finland, marks them as outliers.

That explains a lot about both their past (during which they suffered terribly during invasions of Europe by Mongols and Ottomans) and the present, including Orbns dubious decision to embrace China as an alternative to domination by Western Europe or the United States. Still, there is a common ground between the ideas that motivate Fidesz and that of other conservative movements around the globe, reflected in the work of the Danube Institute think tank, whose members I spoke with. Yet Hungary is a special and different place, and Hungarian policies and ideas should be viewed in their own context and not that of other nations.

The key is immigration

If you want to know why Hungary is a place where Jews live in safety when compared to nations like Britain and France, which are considered far more democratic by observers, a big part of the answer lies in Orbns immigration policies. If there is no red-green alliance in Budapest that can send throngs of protesters to the streets to intimidate both governments and Jewsas is the case in London and Parisit is because there is no large Muslim immigrant community there that seeks to impose their culture and antisemitic views on their new homes.

Liberal observers viewed with alarm the gains of populist parties that are against unlimited immigration in the E.U. elections, as well as other recent votes. While some of these parties have roots in the continents fascist past, their popularity is based on the justified fears of people about their nations future so long as they cannot control their borders or prevent their heritage from being transformed into something they no longer recognize by Muslim immigrants who dont share their cultural or political values.

To confuse opposition to Soros with antisemitism might be more understandable in Hungary with its unfortunate history. But there, the billionaire is a symbol not so much of Jewish villainy as of support for leftist policies that hurt Hungarians, much as his campaign to elect pro-crime prosecutors in the United States has done more damage to America than perhaps that of any other individual. To label Orbn an antisemite because of his Soros-bashing isnt any more legitimate than when Democrats do the same to Republicans in the United States over their noticing the baleful influence of his massive giving to leftist (including anti-Israel) causes.

In Hungary, Fidesz joined with other parties to essentially drive the openly antisemitic Jobbik Party out of the mainstream in the last decade. Both Jews and non-Jews I spoke with conceded that antisemitismwhich played a major role in the past there, and evidence of which is abundant in the Holocaust memorials in Budapest that commemorate the slaughter of most of its Jewish population in 1944is far from dead in Hungary. Indeed, polls have shown that antisemitic attitudes are present in a significant percentage of the population and perhaps far higher than in other countries where Jews do live in fear.

An uncertain future

Hungarian Jews have a history of engagement with their nation. It was a stronghold of the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, in the 19th century as Jews embraced secular learning and integration into their host countries. The beautiful Great Synagogue in Budapest was built by and is still run by the Neolog movement, which is somewhat analogous to Conservative Judaism in the United States. Zionist leaders like Theodor Herzl (who was born across the street from the Great Synagogue) and Moses Hess were Hungarian.

While Orthodox Judaism is undergoing something of a revival there thanks to the brilliant outreach efforts of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, which has close ties to Orbn, the majority of the approximate 100,000-strong Hungarian Jewish community are still loosely affiliated with the Neolog stream. The majority of them are politically liberal and oppose Orbn. But even liberal Jews told me that they understood that he was the main reason why antisemitism was kept in check and they are so secure. Though only a fool would underestimate or count him out, sooner or later, his time in power will come to an end. When that happens, Hungarys status as a bright spot for Jews as well as a fiercely loyal ally of Israel will be in doubt.

For now, that means a stay in Budapest means encountering a nation where there is no sign of the antisemitic surge that is part of everyday life in Western Europe and even the United States.

Mass pro-Hamas demonstrations, such as the disgraceful orgy of Jew-bashing that took place last weekend across from the White House in Washington, D.C., or the besieging of an exhibit about the attack on the Nova music festival in New York City, dont happen in Budapest. The capitals synagogues dont have to worry about antisemitic graffiti and the poster of the Israeli hostages taken by Hamas on the gates of the Great Synagogue hangs proudly and untouched by vandals. And rather than sniping at Israel or supporting efforts to criminalize its efforts to defeat Hamas and rescue its hostages, Hungary is holding the line in defense of the Jewish state.

To many who think Orbn is beyond the pale, his support for Jews and Israel is an unimportant detail. Yet at a time when Jewish lives and rights are at risk everywhere, to ignore the truth about Hungary and the Jews today would be as irresponsible as it would be self-destructive.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS (Jewish News Syndicate). Follow him @jonathans_tobin.

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Notes from the safest place in Europe for Jews - -

Biden draws praise, calls for action after noting ‘abhorrent’ Jew-hatred – –

Posted By on June 15, 2024

(June 14, 2024 / JNS)

U.S. President Joe Biden is drawing praise from American Jewish groups and criticism from the pro-Israel community after he commented on social media about abhorrent and horrific acts of antisemitism this week, including a demonstration celebrating the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities in southern Israel; vandalism targeting Jewish homes; attacks on Jewish faculty at college campuses; and harassment of subway riders.

Antisemitism doesnt just threaten Jewish Americans, he said. It threatens all Americans and our fundamental democratic values.

Ofir Akunis, the Israeli consul general in New York, wrote: As I always sayits not just about Israel or the Jewish people, its a threat to all of youits a threat to the entire world.

The American Jewish Committee thanked Biden for his strong condemnation of antisemitism.

Antisemitism is distinctly un-American. It is an existential threat to our democracy, the AJC said. The full weight of the government and the American people must counter it.

The Anti-Defamation League thanked the U.S. president, as did the Democratic Majority for Israel and Jeremy Burton, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs called Bidens comments important.

Joel Petlin, superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District, was one of several Jewish leaders and activists who called for the president to take action in addition to denouncing Jew-hatred.

This is an important and much-appreciated statement by the president condemning antisemitism, he wrote. The only thing missing is the second statement, directing the Department of Justice to investigate and file charges, the IRS to pull tax-exempt statuses and Homeland Security to deport foreign offenders.

Mr. President, I know you find this abhorrent. But what do you say to some of your donors who are funding some of the groups spreading this antisemitism? wrote Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran. There has to be a reckoning here.

Strong words from the president on the ugly, savage antisemitism seen this past week, wrote Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum. Now need strong action to follow up.

You could stop a lot of it by having the IRS pull the exemptions of like, three or four relatively small nonprofit groups. And yet it hasnt been done, wrote Armin Rosen, a staff writer at Tablet magazine. Its a hard thing to accept, but the quasi-brownshirt movement thats popped up in New York is tolerated, subsidized, and in some cases directly funded by every level of government.

Biden could ask the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute the numerous national groups that are not only committing antisemitic crimes but funding their activities by falsely registering as 501(c)3 nonprofits, wrote Noah Pollak, a contributor to The Washington Free Beacon.

Biden refuses to do this because the activists, Muslim and leftist groups, are part of the Democratic Party, Pollak wrote. Biden, Schumer and Democratic Party leaders will posture about antisemitism but block any government action to punish antisemites. It would be better if they didnt say anything at all.

Stephen Miller, a conservative podcaster and writer, shared a screenshot from a post of Bidens from Aug. 27, 2020. Remember: every example of violence Donald Trump decries has happened on his watch. Under his leadership. During his presidency, Biden wrote at the time.

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What Jewish life looks like for teens from Iceland to Beijing, where the Jewish communities are small and antisemitism … – JTA News – Jewish…

Posted By on June 15, 2024

ORLANDO When Elias Joaquin Burgos arrived in Orlando for a Jewish youth group event in February, he found himself surrounded by 3,700 other Jewish teenagers roughly 15 times the number of Jews who live in the entirety of his home country of Iceland.

Burgos was attending the annual international convention for BBYO, the pluralistic Jewish youth movement, which featured teens from 42 countries. The United States had the largest delegation, with more than 3,000 teens, while sizable groups came from Canada, Argentina, Spain and Germany, plus smaller cohorts from Israel and Ukraine as well.

But as the only Icelandic representative, Burgos had to learn to navigate a packed schedule, not to mention the large convention centers roughly 60 different board rooms, while jumping from one meeting to the next from an executive gathering for teens from all countries to smaller get-togethers for Nordic and Western European participants.

I think that if I would have a huge group of friends around me, I would not go out as much and try to meet new people, Burgos, 16, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency during the event. You also have to be a little bit brave to dive in. But its definitely worth it.

Burgos, who lives in the capital city of Reykjavik, where most of Icelands estimated 250 Jews reside, said he had met peers from South Africa, China, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia. And in the months since the convention, he said he has kept in touch with many of his new friends via the popular messaging platform WhatsApp.

Burgos said meeting Jewish teens from around the world helped him appreciate how different Jewish life looks in each country.

I think that is really important for people to recognize and to respect, Burgos said. If somebody doesnt want to be the same type of Jew as me, I cannot just say, Oh thats wrong, because at the end of the day, were all still Jewish, and we cannot fight in our own society, while still fighting against the people that hate us.

Elias Joaquin Burgos attended BBYOs convention as the only representative from Iceland. (Courtesy of BBYO)

Burgos, whose parents are from Ecuador and Argentina, was born in Seattle but moved to Iceland when he was 1 year old. His father, a marine biologist, got a job at a research institute that was initially only supposed to last two years. Theyve been there ever since.

Back in Iceland, Burgos said hes noticed an uptick in antisemitism since Oct. 7. He said pro-Palestinian sentiment is strong in his country, and that he knows of at least 13 Jewish families who have received death threats, though he said the incidents did not receive much media attention.

Everybody that I know is just constantly posting pro-Palestine propaganda, Burgos said. On their Instagram, on their Snapchat, everything on social media. Its really sad.

Burgos said he is very vocal about his support for Israel on social media and doesnt shy away from engaging with people with differing viewpoints on the issue. He said hes been targeted once or twice including when someone directed a Heil Hitler at him but has never been seriously attacked and said he believes that much of the antisemitism in Iceland comes from misinformation rather than hatred.

If somebody says something about Israel or about Jewish people, I always challenge them if I dont really agree, Burgos said. I try to just understand, where is this person speaking from? Why theyre saying these things.

I think its better to be proud and to be open than to hide. Because then youre letting the enemy win in a way, Burgos added.

At BBYO, Burgos was not the only solo delegation. JTA also spoke to teens from Montenegro, Moldova and China to hear about Jewish life back home from Jewish rituals to weathering various levels of antisemitism.

Djordja Kovacevic represented Montenegro at BBYOs event. (Courtesy of Kovacevic)

Djordja Kovacevic flew over 5,000 miles from her home in Podgorica, Montenegro, to get to Orlando.

Montenegros Jewish population sits between 400 and 500, according to the World Jewish Congress, though Kovacevic estimated that the number is even lower. Kovacevic, 18, said shes only aware of eight Jewish teens in all of Montenegro, a small Balkan country on the coast of the Adriatic Sea with a total population over 600,000. The community hired a rabbi in 2017 for the first time in over a century.

Kovacevic said the Jewish offerings back home are mainly centered around holidays, like Hanukkah. Through BBYO, she said she has met thousands of other Jews and even had a Jewish naming ceremony on top of Masada, the ancient fortification in southern Israel that is a popular destination for Jewish programs.

Kovacevic said she hasnt faced much antisemitism in Montenegro, but noted that the dynamic has changed since Oct. 7.

Before, people would be like, Oh, youre Jewish. Thats so cool. Teach us something new. They were actually interested in learning, she said.

Since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out, Kovacevic says there has been a lot of pro-Palestinian support in Montenegro, and especially in her area, which is home to a large Muslim population. (Eastern Orthodoxy is the main religion in Montenegro.)

The lack of Jewish community in Montenegro has made Kovacevic appreciate the opportunity to attend BBYO events even more. And she hopes her presence will help pave the way for others in her region to get involved at home and at international events like the convention.

It feels kind of lonely that no other people from my region are coming, she said. But I feel proud that Im representing them and that I can be there, like open the door for them so maybe next year they can come.

Ethan Yang speaking at a plenary session during BBYOs International Convention. (Courtesy of BBYO)

For Ethan Yang, meeting teens like Kovacevic and Burgos has reinforced his belief that Jewish community is about quality, not quantity.

I feel like especially with teens from countries that dont have a big Jewish community, I can really find that connection, because I feel like its always where theres not that many Jewish people where I feel like sometimes theres the strongest communities, Yang told JTA.

Yang said living in China, where an estimated 2,500 of the 1.4 billion people are Jewish, being part of a small community only elevates the experience. His BBYO chapter has around a dozen teens.

People have to seek out to find a group of Jewish people, Yang said, Not like the U.S., where I think its easier to find Jewish people around you, so people think its normal to see someone whos Jewish. But in China, when I see someone else whos also Jewish, we have a closer connection. We stick together.

Yang said there are two main Jewish groups in Beijing: Chabad and the progressive Kehillat Beijing, which organizes weekly Shabbat gatherings in community members homes. Yang said those events usually attract around 20 people.

Outside the Jewish community, Yang said he has not faced antisemitism in Beijing though he said he was aware of a stabbing outside the Israeli embassy in October that arrived at a time of high alarm.

When I tell people that Im Jewish, theyre more surprised, Yang said. [For] most of them its their first time seeing anyone whos Jewish. So they get more surprised and more curious about Judaism.

China has been a particular hotbed of antisemitism since the Israel-Hamas war began especially on social media sites like Weibo, Chinas popular microblogging platform, many of which are closely monitored by the government. In February, a Chinese actor who voices a popular childrens cartoon drew criticism after he made antisemitic comments on social media.

Yang attributed the antisemitism, in part, to many Chinese peoples inclination to diverge from the United States, which they see as primarily pro-Israel.

Chinese people, they think the Jewish people and Israel are separate things, Yang said. So when I say Im Jewish, they dont come up and ask me, Oh, what do you think about Israel/Palestine?

Taisia Sinkariova, standing in the center in a white top, with friends at BBYOs convention in Orlando. (Courtesy of Sinkariova)

Estimates for the current Jewish population in Moldova range from as few as 1,600 to as many as 30,000. Decades of antisemitic violence most notably the 1903 Kishinev pogrom and restrictive religious laws under Soviet and eventually Nazi rule throughout the 20th century decimated a once flourishing Jewish community. And some Moldovans are likely to have Jewish ancestry without knowing it, as descendants of those who converted to Christianity to avoid persecution.

For Taisia Sinkariova, that fraught history manifests every day at school in the capital city of Chiinu.

In Moldova we have many Jews, and people can say, No, Im not Jewish, but all my friends have Jewish roots, Sinkariova, 16, told JTA. Only three of my friends came with me in our Jewish community, but many people in Moldova have Jewish roots.

Sinkariova said leaders from the local Jewish community have come to present at school, teaching students about Jewish life and the contributions Jews have made in society.

Sinkariova has been involved in her Jewish community through volunteering, in a madrichim (teachers assistant) program and as a member of Haverim (friends in Hebrew), the Moldovan teen club organized by JDCs Active Jewish Teens network, which has a partnership with BBYO.

Living in Moldova, a country of roughly 3 million people situated between Ukraine and Romania, Sinkariova said the ongoing wars in both Ukraine and Israel have been prominent issues in the Jewish community.

Roughly 13,000 Moldovans live in Israel, most of whom work in either construction or nursing, and Sinkariova said the Jewish community has been supporting the Moldovan community in Israel, as well as Ukrainian refugees who have been living in Moldova since their countrys war with Russia began in February 2022.

In the days immediately following Russias invasion, many Ukrainian Jewish evacuees took refuge in Moldovas synagogues and Jewish community centers. And Sinkariova said her family has been hosting Ukrainian friends in their second home since the war began.

Coming into BBYO, Sinkariova said being the only representative of her country can be intimidating.

Its scary because I need to represent my country, my community, she said. But Im here with my friends from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, with AJT, with my coordinator, and when Im so scared, they say alls good.

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Protesters are harassing Jews every day in NYC, when will pols protect them? – New York Post

Posted By on June 15, 2024

How much more are Jews in New York City expected to take?

Earlier this week, a protest in front of the Nova Music Festival Exhibition on Wall Street, which commemorates those slaughtered at a music festival in Israel during the October 7 attacks, waved Hezbollah and Hamas flags and a Long live October 7th banner, lit flares and chanted long live the intifada.

On Tuesday, a mob took over a New York City subway car and chanted, in a call and repeat fashion, Raise your hands if youre a Zionist. This is your chance to get out.

Two nights ago, the homes of Brooklyn Museums director Anne Pasternak and several of the museums Jewish board members, were defaced with fake blood and a sign that accused Pasternak of being a White-Supremacist Zionist.

Ive been writing in these pages about the growing antisemitism in New York for years.

But this is the worst it has ever been. Its no longer random attacks, that could be blamed on the mentally unwell.

There is now a coordinated threat to Jewish presence in this city.

Hate doesnt have a home in our city, former mayor Bill de Blasio said in 2019 after eight attacks on Jews within one week happened in New York.

De Blasio had famously blamed Trump-supporters for these increased attacks saying I want to be very, very clear, the violent threat, the threat that is ideological, is very much from the right.

He never explained how the shadowy MAGA fans existed in such large numbers in his deep blue New York and were able to disguise themselves so well.

To his credit, Mayor Adams visited the Nova exhibit after the hateful protest outside.

But he said similar words to his hapless predecessor, Hate has no place in our city, when it is clear hate has developed quite a foothold in New York where Jews are concerned.

Its gotten so bad that even Comptroller Brad Lander and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both normally good friends to Jew-haters, feigned alarm at the open antisemitism they helped to foster.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, meanwhile, is looking to stoke these flames of antisemitism further by working on a completely pointless cease-fire resolution.

The war in Gaza wont stop because some City Councilwoman says so.

But violence against Jews in her city will increase as she pushes the lie that Israel is committing genocide.

Jews in New York find themselves in a very hard place.

The city had long been a haven for the Jewish population.

Antisemites existed elsewhere, out there in the hinterlands, not in the city home to Zabars and Seinfeld.

Get the most important developments in the region, globally and locally.

The last few years have exposed something else.

Now its hard not to notice that the worst eruptions, the vilest hate, is happening in New York specifically.

The mob is masked to conceal their identity and able to be violent then disappear into crowds.

Its worth noting that when the regular attacks on Jews were happening during de Blasios terms, with hundreds of attacks caught on video, only one perpetrator ever served a day in prison.

Jews are getting the message that no one will protect them and theyre largely not allowed to protect themselves.

At the Nova exhibit, Mayor Adams told influencer Lizzy Savetsky We have the largest Jewish population outside of Israel right here in New York. This is not going to be a city where youll have to take off your yarmulke, be afraid to walk inside a synagogue, but then added or church or mosque as if anyone is afraid to walk into those.

He seemed to want to cut off the obvious criticism that Jews have largely been left exposed in his city saying A minority of those who want us to live in fear, who want us to say police departments youre not doing enough, who want us to turn on our allies, we cant turn on each other.

What would Mayor Adams do if he were on that subway without a security detail?

Would he raise his hand as a Zionist?

What does he advise his citys Jews do?

Its not turning on each other to demand more than words.

Hate has no home in New York? Prove it.

Read more:

Protesters are harassing Jews every day in NYC, when will pols protect them? - New York Post

‘Holocaust denial’ grows amid rise of ‘modern manifestations’ of antisemitism – Sky News Australia

Posted By on June 15, 2024

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'Holocaust denial' grows amid rise of 'modern manifestations' of antisemitism - Sky News Australia

ADL: 56% of Americans report online harassment or hate – The Times of Israel

Posted By on June 15, 2024

The Anti-Defamation League reports that more than half of Americans experience online hate and harassment in their lifetimes and numbers are rising.

The ADL says its sixth annual survey on the issue says that among adults the groups most affected by the issue were transgender (63 %), LGBTQ+ (49 %) Muslim (47 %) and Jews (34%)

Harassment of teens ages 13-17 remained steady at 50 percent this past year, the ADL says.

The hate were seeing online, doesnt stay online it causes real harm and violence in peoples lives. Its high time everyone stepped up to keep communities and marginalized groups safe from hate and harassment, says Jonathan Greenblatt, ADLs CEO.

Despite many promises made by online platforms, hate and harassment are still plaguing the internet. Policymakers and big tech companies must deliver on their commitments to address hate and harassment online, he says.

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ADL: 56% of Americans report online harassment or hate - The Times of Israel

ADL New England: Antisemitism on campus is a painful reality, not a phantom claim – The Boston Globe

Posted By on June 15, 2024

Re ACLU lawyer who defended Nazis sees free speech retreat in America by Joan Vennochi (Opinion, June 11): Antisemitism on campus is not a phantom claim intended to shut down debate. Its an all too obvious and painful reality. The Anti-Defamation League reported 916 antisemitic incidents on campus, including assaults, nationwide from Oct. 7, 2023, to May 15, a 375 percent increase compared with the same time frame a year ago.

We have cited rampant violations of student codes of conduct, making certain spaces unwelcome for students based upon their identity as Jews. Heated discourse that hurts feelings (in the words of former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer David Goldberger) is one thing, violating students civil rights is another. Universities have an obligation to protect access to services and facilities for all, regardless of background. When a protester on my sons campus held up a sign declaring Jewish students were the al-Qassam [Brigades] next targets, my son and other students reasonably wondered if they could be safe anywhere on campus.

Freedom of speech is a right and it must be protected. But those who push bigotry are not the only members of our society with rights. The exchange of viewpoints and heated debate is exactly what campus life should be about. Ensuring access to a safe and welcoming learning environment for everyone and ending the harassment of Jewish students is necessary for just such discourse to be possible.

Rabbi Ron Fish

Interim regional director

Anti-Defamation League of New England


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ADL New England: Antisemitism on campus is a painful reality, not a phantom claim - The Boston Globe

Hearing postponed for suspect charged in death threats to Attleboro synagogue – The Sun Chronicle

Posted By on June 15, 2024

ATTLEBORO A change of plea hearing for a Millis man arrested in January for allegedly leaving a hate-filled, threatening message on voicemail at the Agudas Achim synagogue has been postponed to Aug. 13.

John Reardon, 59, was scheduled to appear Wednesday for the hearing in U.S. District Court in Boston but his lawyer asked that it be postponed.

The public defender representing Reardon said she has been on medical leave since May and needed more time time to discuss a disposition with prosecutors and obtain medical documents, according to a court filing.

No plea agreement has been reached in the case, according to a joint motion filed by both sides.

Reardon was arrested Jan. 25 in Wrentham hours after the call to the synagogue and remains free with conditions, including mental health treatment, according to court records.

Reardon faces charges of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs by threat of force and threat to kill, injure and intimidate by means of fire or explosive, both related to the call to Agudas Achim.

Federal prosecutors also filed a charge of transmitting in interstate and foreign commerce a threat to injure a person. It is related to a second synagogue.

The houses of worship are identified in the charging document as Synagogue 1 and Synagogue 2. The Sun Chronicle confirmed Synagogue 1 is Agudas Achim.

Reardon alleged called Agudas Achim and left a voicemail threatening to bomb the synagogue and kill its children, according to court records.

In a call the same day, the defendant used a telephone to call Synagogue 2, a house of worship located in Massachusetts, and left a voicemail threatening the killing of all Jews and stomping their babies dead into the ground, according to records.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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Hearing postponed for suspect charged in death threats to Attleboro synagogue - The Sun Chronicle

Antisemitic incident takes place in Toronto synagogue – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on June 15, 2024

A Canadian man suspected of throwing a rock through a synagogue window was arrested, the Toronto Police Service announced on Saturday, as the city and country at large continued to see a spate of vandal attacks against Jewish houses of worship and schools.

Jonathan Szeftel, 33, is alleged to have approached a synagogue last Saturday before dawn and broke the front window with a rock.

Szeftel was last Monday arrested and charged with mischief to religious property and failure to comply with a probation order. The suspect had his first court appearance on Tuesday at the Ontario Court of Justice.

"This investigation is being treated as a suspected hate-motivated offense," said the TPS.

Toronto has seen a series of vandalism incidents against synagogues in recent months. A vandal smashed the Kehillat Shaarei Torah synagogues windows for the second time in a month on May 17, following the first incident on April 19. Another Bayview Avenue area synagogue had signs set on fire on April 26 and April 28.

On Wednesday, Toronto Crime Stoppers offered a cash reward of up to $25,000 Canadian for any information leading to the arrest of those involved in a shooting at the Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School on May 25. The shooting by two men did not result in any casualties.

There were also no casualties when a Montreal Jewish school, located in a synagogue, was hit by gunfire on May 27.

Last Friday, the front doors of a Vancouver synagogue were set on fire by an arsonist.

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Antisemitic incident takes place in Toronto synagogue - The Jerusalem Post

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