Thousands march in response to wave of anti-Semitic attacks

People hold signs protesting hate at No Hate, No Fear Jewish Solidarity March on Jan. 5 in New York.
People hold signs protesting hate at No Hate, No Fear Jewish Solidarity March on Jan. 5 in New York.
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Thousands march in response to wave of anti-Semitic attacks

Elected officials at the rally called for greater security for religious institutions
January 6, 2020

Tens of thousands of people thronged to Lower Manhattan to rally in support of the Jewish community in the wake of several anti-Semitic attacks that have recently shaken the New York City metropolitan area, The New York Times reports. 

These attacks – from a shooting at a Jersey City kosher grocery store on Dec. 10 to the machete attack at a rabbi’s home in Rockland County last month – are emblematic of larger trends. Acording to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2017, the United States experienced the most anti-Semitic incidents since the organization began tracking such attacks three decades ago. The ADL’s estimates for 2019 show more of the same, and an upcoming report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University shows that anti-Semitic crimes are expected to reach an 18-year peak in New York City as well as in Los Angeles and Chicago. 

New York’s elected officials have stepped up to highlight the need for security. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the rally that New York would spend $45 million in security funding for religious institutions and mentioned his plans to push for a new state law to designate hate crimes as domestic terrorism. Members of Congress have also encouraged nonprofits to apply for federal dollars allocated for security to organizations at risk of terrorist attacks. 

The nonprofit sector has increased efforts to boost security as well. UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York – which also worked to organize this weekend’s rally – recently hired the former head of the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Analysis Unit to lead their own $4 million safety initiative. 

Of course, these responses have yet to address the root cause of why these anti-Semitic acts are in the rise in the first place. One idea currently being floated to deal with what is driving the surge is to recruit those who have previously committed hate crimes to educate youth. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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