The Biden administration has condemned the surge in antisemitic violence across the United States over the past two weeks.
In addition to the numerous, well-publicised incidents of violence in New York City – including the horrendous antisemitic beating of Joseph Borgen – and Los Angeles, there have been multiple further antisemitic incidents across the nation.
In Brooklyn, Jewish teenagers were surrounded by a gang who expressed antisemitic slurs before beating them, while elsewhere in the borough Jewish worshippers were targeted by assailants screaming “Kill the Jews!” and other antisemitic threats.
Luca Lewis, goalkeeper for New York Red Bulls football team, also recounted how “A group of 6-8 Palestinian men walk up to me and asked me where I was from. I responded and said ‘New York.’ Than one guy asks me if I was Jewish. I pause for a moment in confusion and thought about it, then I saw them withdrawing knives.” Mr Lewis then answered, “no.”
“The guy looked at me with such disgust in his eyes and said ‘Good.’ As I started walking away, I got extremely angry and felt like I had to say something,” Mr Lewis continued. “So I turned back around and said ‘what if I was Jewish?’”
He then described how the group of men walked up to him and the person who originally asked whether Mr Lewis was Jewish now threatened him: “I‘ll beat the f****n’ s*** out of you and kill you.’”
In Florida, police are investigating an incident in Bal Harbour near Miami Beach, where four men terrorised a Jewish group visiting from New Jersey. The visitors were Eric Orgen, his wife Karen, his 16-year-old daughter, and Mark Schwartz, the Deputy Mayor of Teaneck. The four had just left a synagogue when the men, said to be in their twenties, allegedly drove up to the family and began screaming antisemitic abuse, including “F*** you, Jew” and “Die Jew.” They also threatened to rape Mr Orgen’s wife and daughter. The abuse only stopped when a passer-by with a gun intervened, according to several reports.
In another incident in the state, at the Chabad of South Broward, a man yelled antisemitic abuse at the rabbi before leaving and allegedly returning a short time later to dump a bag of human faeces in front of the building. Mobile-phone video captured the man as he screamed abuse. As he dumped the bag in front of the synagogue, he allegedly yelled, “Jews should die,” and spat at a menorah, according to police.
Earlier, this month, a man was arrested after a van covered in antisemitic, pro-Nazi slogans was seen driving through Boca Raton and Miami.
In Utah, police are investigating the scrawling of a swastika into a synagogue door, while a first-year Jewish student at the University of New Mexico was hospitalised after being beaten, according to the victim, for wearing a t-shirt saying “Just Jew It”.
In Seattle, a Jewish activist recounted being assaulted at an anti-Israel rally.
In Berkeley, CA police have reportedly arrested a suspect accused of vandalising a Jewish synagogue and committing other antisemitic crimes. Antisemitic graffiti has also been sighted on the bicycle path from Will Rogers Beach to Venice.
These are just a sample of antisemitic incidents that have rocked the United States over the past two weeks, including violent beatings, assaults, threats, harassment and property damage. The incidents have taken place across the country in rallies, on the streets and online.
President Joe Biden said: “The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behaviour at home and abroad — it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbour.”
Vice President Kamala Harris added: “The surge in antisemitic attacks against the Jewish community in the U.S. and around the world is despicable—it must be called out, condemned, and stopped. As a country, we must stand united against hate of any kind.”