Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Someone in America is targeting Jews
In America 2017, someone is targeting Jews.
Consider some facts:
On January 5, 2017, an Orlando, Florida (Jewish) Chabad Center was evacuated for the second day in a row. It had received two consecutive bomb threats (Jason Le Miere, "Anti-Semitism timeline: when, where, JCC bomb threats, cemetery vandalism, swastika graffiti have happened since election 2016", internationalbusinesstimes, February 27, 2017).
Four days later, on January 9th, 16 Jewish institutions across the Northeast and South received called-in bomb threats ("In second wave of bomb threats at least 30 US Jewish institutions targeted", jerusalempost, January 18, 2017).
9 days later, on January 18th, another 30 Jewish institutions, this time all of them Jewish Community Centers (JCC), received a wave of bomb threats (ibid).
Three days after that, on January 21st--the day after Donald Trump's inauguration as US president--Rabbi Marvin Hier, who gave a public blessing at the inauguration ceremony, was hit with a wave of on-line anti-Semitic abuse on social media ("Trump's inauguration Rabbi targeted by anti-Semitic messages", sandiegojewishworld, January 21, 2017).
On January 31st, a third wave of bomb threats hit 13 JCC's in 10 states (internationalbusinesstimes, ibid).
Next day, February 1, 2017, some 50 headstones in a Jewish cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana were overturned (Angelica Robinson, "Dozens of headstones vandalized at Fort Wayne Jewish cemetery," wane, February 2, 2017). Several had been "severely" broken (ibid).
On February 4th, public transportation riders in New York City, Chicago, Houston and Oregon found windows and posters covered over with anti-Jew graffiti (internationalbusinesstimes, ibid).
Two weeks later, over the weekend of February 18-19, 2017, another cemetery attack occurred. This attack was at a historic Jewish cemetery in St Louis, Missouri. Vandals had either knocked over or broken more than 150 headstones ("Vandals wreck headstones at historic Jewish cemetery in St Louis", usatodaynetwork, February 20, 2017).
On February 20, 2017--just after the cemetery in St Louis had been vandalized--11 Jewish community institutions in 5 states received bomb threats (Eeta Prince-Gibson, "Leaping to West Coast: 29 Bomb Threats Against Jewish Targets Across U.S. in Fifth Wave, haaretz, February 28, 2017). This was the fourth wave of bomb threats since January 1st.
Five days later, during the weekend of February 25-26, 2017, between 75-100 headstones in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia were knocked over (Sarah Kaplan, "Dozens of headstones vandalized at Philadelphia Jewish cemetery", washingtonpost, February 26, 2017). Several headstones were broken (ibid).
Someone in America is targeting Jews. How many 'someones' are we talking about?
Next day, on February 27th, the day after the Philadelphia cemetery attack, it was reported that a "high-ranking" official at a CUNY college campus in the New York City area had recently complained there were 'too many Jews' on the college faculty ("College administrator allegedly said thee were 'too many Jews' on his staff", foxnews). His complaint was said to have been secretly recorded by a college professor (ibid).
That same day, Monday, February 27, 2017, another 29 Jewish community institutions in 16 states received bomb threats. This was the fifth--and most recent--wave of called-in threats, year-to-date. One JCC in Alabama had to be evacuated for the third time since January 1st (internationalbusinesstimes, ibid).
So far, all the bomb threats have been hoaxes. But no one is taking any chances. So far, local Jewish community leaders have erred on the side of caution.
Someone in America is targeting Jews. How many 'someones' are involved?
Since the beginning of 2017, during the period January 1, 2017-February 27, 2017, a total of 89 anti-Jew incidents like these have occurred in the US. They happened at 72 locations across 30 states (and one Canadian province) (Prince-Gibson, ibid). At least, that's what the haaretz story said (ibid). For the same time period, the latimes reported a total of "at least 92" of these incidents across America (Barbara Demick, "More bomb threats at Jewish schools and community centers, and another Jewish cemetery is vandalized", latimes, February 27, 2017).
If you go back to the beginning of December, 2016, you'll find 195 anti-Jew incidents in the US in the last 45 days (Eeta Prince-Gibson, "US security expert baffled and concerned by 'unprecedented' anti-Semitic attacks", haaretz, February 28, 2017). If you're counting, that total adds up to more than 4 anti-Jew attacks per day.
Someone in America is targeting Jews.
If you are Jewish and live in America, are you paying attention? Someone in America is sending a message to you. Part of that message is, as one phone caller put it, "In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered" (latimes, ibid).
Someone in America is targeting Jews. Are your children safe?
Is their day school safe? Is their community center safe?
On February 26, 2017, Israel's best-known aliyah NGO, nefeshbnefesh, finished its largest-ever pre-aliyah 'Mega event', in New York City. The fair's aim was to help American Jews make aliyah to Israel, our ancestral Jewish homeland.
This year's New York City fair was the most successful ever for New York. It set new attendance records (Eliran Baruch, "Record interest in aliyah at New York event", arutzsheva, February 27, 2017).
Perhaps some Jews in America now understand that America is not the safe haven for Jews it might once have been. Some of the Jews who went to that Fair in New York City may understand that America is not their Jewish homeland. They're planning to come home to Israel.