(CNN)President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday condemned recent attacks toward the Jewish community after several Jewish people were targeted in cities across the US and abroad as tensions flare over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad — it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor,” Biden tweeted Monday.
Harris added later: “The surge in anti-Semitic 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.”
The attacks appear to be inspired by the latest round of violence in the Middle East between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, with the perpetrators in one incident in Los Angeles being identified as pro-Palestinian men. They have added to a climate of fear in the Jewish community that has been exacerbated by conspiracies propagated by politicians in the US, said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“We’ve seen a series of acts of vandalism and harassment, and the abuse online … has been staggering,” Greenblatt said Sunday on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “And so when you see wild conspiracy theories about the Jewish people or the Jewish state, we shouldn’t be surprised where there are real world consequences when Jewish people get harmed and hurt.”
Police departments in two of America’s largest cities are investigating anti-Semitic incidents that took place over the last week and are bracing for more. The New York Police Department is stepping up its presence in New York City’s Jewish communities following two anti-Semitic incidents in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood on Saturday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday afternoon. And in California, the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating an altercation last week near Hollywood in which witnesses said Jewish people dining at a restaurant were targeted by a group of pro-Palestinian men driving past in vehicles. The LAPD is treating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Last week, Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to a ceasefire after more than a week of conflict. Over 11 days, the Israel Defense Forces carried out a devastating aerial bombardment of Gaza, while Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. At least 12 people in Israel, including two children, were killed as a result of Palestinian militant fire, according to the IDF and Israel’s emergency service.
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