San Diego County, nation, respond to hate incidents – San Diego Jewish World

Posted By on May 19, 2020

May 18, 2020

Other items in this column include:*Jewish American Heritage Month*Recommended reading

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO Two grocery store incidents in Santee earlier this month in which a man wearing the hood of the Ku Klux Klan, and a man and woman wearing masks featuring swastikas, continue to reverberate. San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher proposed that a countywide Human Relations Commission be re-established and empowered to look into such incidents, and the San Diego Union-Tribuneran three opinion pieces Monday on the incidents and their impact on the City of Santee.

In another response to hate, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) arranged for 25 olive trees to be planted at Kfar Silver Youth Village in southern Israel in memory of Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was murdered when a gunman attacked Chabad of Poway on the last day of Passover in 2019.

As part of the World ORT Kadmima Mada school network, children of the Kfar Silver Youth Village helped plant the trees and lay a plaque which was inscribed, May these trees grow to be a source of strength and hope of a bright future, befitting of Loris blessed memory.

Olive branches traditionally have been considered a symbol of peace, derived from the story of a dove bringing back a branch to Noahs Ark.

Michael Ross, under auspices of CAMs Venture Creative Contest to fight antisemitism, suggested planting trees to memorialize those killed in anti-Semitic attacks. Lori Gilbert-Kaye was the first victim to be honored under the program.

Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement Director, commented: It is so important to honor the memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and also to remember those who were injured in the appalling anti-Semitic attack at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue. The shooting did not happen by chance. It is an example of what can happen when hatred is allowed to go unchecked. The trees that we planted today are a powerful statement that we can and must create a better, more hopeful future. It is a fitting testament to the values which Lori stood for.

Last month, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement hosted a virtual memorial ceremony, to mark the first anniversary of the Poway Synagogue shooting. Participants included survivors of the attack, plus Elan Carr (US Special Envoy for Combatting Anti-Semitism), Danny Danon (Israel Ambassador to UN) and Dr. Ahmed Shaheed (UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom or Religion and Belief).

Awaiting trials in both state and federal courts is the alleged gunman John T. Earnest not only on charges of murdering Lori Gilbert Kaye, but also for woundingRabbi Yisroel Goldstein,and congregants Almog Peretz and his elementary school aged niece Noya Dahan.There are those who believe news publications and broadcast outlets should never mention the name of accused assailants lest they be glorified in the eyes of other haters. While recognizing the good intent of such a proposed ban, I disagree with it. I believe people who are accused of hateful acts from vandalism all the way up to murder ought to be held accountable by name. On the other hand, the persons name need not be headlined; it can be included in the body of a news article, as occurred here.

Meanwhile, in New York, the national headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League announced on Monday that 2019 saw a 50 percent increase in domestic Islamist extremism. A news release said there were a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism, nine of which were for terror plots. Of the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, seven (78 percent) were U.S. citizens. While there were no attacks or murders linked to domestic Islamist extremism last year, the findings indicate that Islamist extremism still poses a significant threat to the United States.

Make no mistake: the threat of Islamist extremist activity in the United States is serious and cannot be ignored, said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. In 2019 alone we saw nine individuals arrested for planning attacks on U.S. soil and a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism. We are deeply grateful for the efforts of federal and local law enforcement to investigate and disrupt these potentially dangerous attacks.

In addition to the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, 21 others were arrested for engaging in domestic criminal activity motivated by Islamist extremism, the ADL reported. Of those 21 individuals, a large majority faced charges for attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Approximately 70 percent of domestic Islamist extremist criminal activity in 2019 was inspired by ISIS, which has reportedly lost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria.

*Jewish American Heritage Month

*EMET (Endowment for Middle East Truth) on Monday honored the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis as part of the celebration of May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

*Our thanks toEva Triegerwho spotted the video above highlighting the Jews of Hollywood and their continuing a centuries-old tradition of Jewish storytelling.

*Recommended reading

*The Jerusalem Postreports that both China and Israel are investigating the cause of death of Chinas Ambassador to Israel, whose body was found at his residence in Herzliya.

*The Daily Mailof London reports that half of the blood plasma donations in the United States has come from the Orthodox Jewish population of metropolitan New York.

*Donald H. Harrison is editor ofSan Diego Jewish World.He may be contacted via

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San Diego County, nation, respond to hate incidents - San Diego Jewish World

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