B’nai B’rith calls for the U.S. Justice Department to appoint a special coordinator on domestic anti-Semitism. This official would focus the Department’s efforts to monitor anti-Semitic hate crimes and pursue those responsible. He or she would also cooperate with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to keep Jewish communities safe from threats.
Though the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States has been well-documented for decades, the sheer volume of threats and attacks on Jewish institutions in recent months has reached alarming levels that require swift action at the highest levels of government.
The weekend vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, days after the similar toppling of headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis; the scores of bomb threats called into JCCs nationwide; anti-Semitic graffiti such as swastikas penned in the New York City subway system; the sale of swastika-emblazoned t-shirts on college campuses; and the proliferation of anti-Semitic comments and threats on social media all point to the need for official government scrutiny and action.
FBI hate crimes statistics find that Jews are the primary religious hate crime victims in the United States—more than 50 percent of all hate crimes in the U.S. are against Jews. And those numbers were calculated before this recent wave of attacks and threats.
It is time for the government to use its considerable resources to investigate, prosecute and educate.