LETTER: Anti-Semitism and bigotry is once again on rise – SouthCoastToday.com

Posted By on January 14, 2020

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With the recent attack on Jews in Monsey, New York we have one more piece of evidence illustrating the growing hatred for Jews in the United States and the world. Why has anti-Semitism reemerged with such a vengeance? One need only look at the way minorities are being treated in this country to have an understanding of why anti-Semitism is growing again.

We are living in a toxic time, and strangers, those not part of the majority, are the targets. The Jews have been the embodiment of the outsider in history. As the canaries in the mine, Jews warn the world that intolerance and bigotry are on the rise. But make no mistake, other minorities have been the target of hate crimes; and we as Jews just represent a people never truly accepted and barely tolerated. We need to address the toxicity that causes such intolerance and hatred to emerge.

According to the Anti-Defamation League anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise around the country, leaving members of the Jewish community feeling frightened and unsafe. In New York City, anti-Semitic crimes have jumped 21% in the past year. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 1,879 incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2018, including more than 1,000 instances of harassment. The 2018 total is 48% higher than the number of incidents in 2016 and 99% higher than in 2015.

The Jewish community of our area remains vigilant for any such outbreaks here. I am happy to say that the New Bedford Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro, and Dartmouth Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Brian Levesque, have been proactive in monitoring such activity in our area. I appreciate the communication that both departments have taken to reach out to our community and help us upgrade our security. We know they stand ready to assist us. We appreciate the steps they have taken to protect our synagogue and the members of the Jewish community.

This planning has made the Jewish community in our area safer and more reassured of the commitment of law enforcement to make sure we are safe and secure. Let us hope that this remains the case. Let us all confront bigotry and minority hatred, no matter which minority group is under attack. United, and vigilant, we stand.

Rabbi Rafael Kanter is a resident of New Bedford.

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