2017-03-01 / Editorial

Now is the time for our leaders to confront growing anti-Semitism

As the Voice was going to press with this issue on Monday morning, the usual process was disrupted by a phoned-in bomb threat that forced the evacuation of the Jewish Community Campus.

Some two hours later, after law-enforcement officials expertly did their job determining it was safe to return, the old editorial needed a revision. The theme for the now out-of-date piece was similar; we had already focused on the need for strong condemnation and action against the rash of anti-Semitic acts that have struck JCCs, Jewish schools and Jewish cemeteries across the country since the start of the year. But now the acts have hit home. Within a span of two days, the graves of loved ones at Mt. Carmel cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia were desecrated and then this happened – a cowardly act meant to shatter our sense of security. Although all previous bomb threats – and there have been dozens – have been determined to be hoaxes, there is no denying this was upsetting.

We are resolved to stand up to hate and not let fear divide us. And more than ever, we call on our government officials at all levels to strongly condemn these acts and work together to counter hate. David Posner, director of strategic performance at the JCC Association of North America said it well: “Anti-Semitism of this nature should not and must not be allowed to endure in our communities. The Justice Department, Homeland Security, the FBI, and the White House, alongside Congress and local officials, must speak out – and speak out forcefully – against this scourge of anti-Semitism impacting communities across the country.”

We appreciated President Donald Trump’s strong statement in support late last month following vandalism of a St. Louis cemetery. We urge him to take the lead on this pressing matter and reiterate his vow to “root out hate, prejudice and evil.” 

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