Anti-Semitic attacks appear to be increasing following a series of incidents in northern New Jersey, “including the attempted murder of a rabbi after incendiary devices were thrown at his home above a synagogue,” according to CNN. The attempt on the rabbi’s life was the fourth reported incident in the past month in Bergen County. Synagogues and temples have been the main targets through vandalism and arson.
In November, as Care2′s Kristina Chew reported, cars in a Jewish New York neighborhood were set on fire and a Hasidic man was attacked in Williamsburg. Additionally, windows were smashed at five stores owned by Jewish merchants in Middlesex County.
Officials are unwilling to draw conclusions about why anti-Semitic incidences have spiked in the Northeast, but “according to a November survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), 15% of Americans hold deeply anti-Semitic views; that figure stood at 12% in the 2009 survey.”
Some speculate that the rise in anti-Semitism may be linked to the recessed economy and the long-held perception of Jews as miserly bankers and businessmen who hold more than their share of the wealth.
Whatever the cause, the hatred and violence needs to stop. Many synagogues and temples in the Northeast have requested more police presence in their neighborhoods in hopes of deterring would-be vandals.
Photo credit: Emmanuel Dyan