Chief rabbi urges Netanyahu to speak out against US anti-Semitism – The Times of Israel

Posted By on March 6, 2017

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef implored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak up Monday about a recent wave of anti-Semitism and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries in the United States.

Yosef called on Netanyahu and Israeli diplomats not to be silent about the phenomenon of Jewish cemetery desecration.

We have to raise a very clear voice to work as much as possible to stop these anti-Semitic acts, he said.

Your voice is the voice our brothers in the Diaspora expect to hear. They are looking to you; you must do everything in your power to prevent these acts of hatred, he added.

Yosef spoke at a ceremony marking a deadly 1992 bombing at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

The past two months have seen three incidents of vandalism in Jewish cemeteries and a rash of over 100 bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions.

Jewish tombstones lay vandalized at Mount Carmel Cemetery February 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Mark Makela/Getty Images/AFP)

Netanyahu is usually vocal against global anti-Semitism but has issued a fairly muted response to recent acts targeting US Jewish institutions. Critics in Israel say Netanyahu may be looking to protect his ally, US President Donald Trump, who is accused of stirring up xenophobia.

During a visit to the White House last month, the prime minister defended Trump against charges of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism, saying there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 15, 2017. (AFP/ SAUL LOEB)

After Trump issued his first explicit condemnation of anti-Semitism, which he described as horrible, painful and a sad reminder, Netanyahu said, It is very important that President Trump took a strong stand against anti-Semitism.

Speaking at an event for the Jewish community in late February at the Great Synagogue in Sydney, during a state visit, Netanyahu described anti-Semitism as a growing trend that needs to be combated.

We have a battle against those who seek to demonize our people and against the resurgent anti-Semitism we see in many parts of the world, he said, adding that it is something that we need to fight together.

The prime minister said that in addition to Trump taking a strong stand against anti-Semitism it is important that we all continue to do so in the years ahead, adding that it is important in Europe, it is important in America.

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Chief rabbi urges Netanyahu to speak out against US anti-Semitism - The Times of Israel

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