"We’re Not Safe as Jews in New York"
The Monsey stabbing is the latest in an escalating drumbeat of anti-Semitic violence in the hub of American Jewish life.
DECEMBER 29, 2019
Saturday was the seventh night of Hanukkah, a holiday normally celebrated with singing and fried foods and the soft glow of lit menorahs. A gathering of Hasidic Jews at the home of a rabbi in Monsey, New York, instead turned into a nightmare when a man wielding a large knife rushed in and began attacking. Five people were reportedly stabbed and wounded. As of midday Sunday, according to law enforcement, two victims were still in the hospital.
“There’s a lot of horror,” Shoshana Bernstein, a community organizer and mother who lives in Monsey, told me. “It’s tapping into every fear.” Part of the shock is that this happened in Monsey, a densely Jewish community just north of New York City, in the metropolitan area that is home to the largest population of Jews outside of Israel. Jews have been in New York since before the city got its name, and have deeply influenced its culture. At one point, they made up as much as a quarter of its population. Now, according to researchers at Brandeis University, roughly 1.7 million Jews live in the metropolitan area, nearly 10 percent of the population. By comparison, Jews make up roughly 2 percent of the United States population as a whole.
Here, of all places, Jews should feel safe. But the Monsey stabbing is just the latest in an escalating drumbeat of violence in the area. Less than three weeks ago, a pair of assailants allegedly murdered two Jews, a law-enforcement officer, and a clerk at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey. There have been at least 13 anti-Semitic incidents in New York State since early December, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, and at least 10 in the New York–New Jersey area in the past week alone, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The Monsey attack could mark a fundamental turning point for Jews in New York, and across the country: Jews are being targeted for violence, whether they live in the heart of Brooklyn or the suburbs of Rockland County, where Monsey is located. “I think the reality is seeping in,” Bernstein said. “It doesn’t matter who you are [or] what your religious affiliation is. We’re not safe as Jews in New York.”
It’s odd this is happening in clusters like this. It’s like people read about it and think it’s a cool thing to do. Even if you don’t like Jews for whatever reason, why attack someone on the streets just going about their business? Remember someone was going around China town slashing girls in the face with a straight edge razor? These random acts of violence are quite puzzling. Just express your disagreement verbally and leave it like that. This shit happens to Christians everyday in the Middle East but the world doesn’t seem that concerned. In my eyes it’s a genocide but that word can’t be used as the UN charters would demand action be taken. It’s just a shame this violence happens everywhere.
true it is everywhere.
A new report says that the persecution of Christians across the world is fast becoming genocide and that the faith will soon disappear in some areas of the world, even in locations where its presence dates back to antiquity.
The crisis was made apparent recently by the Sri Lanka attacks on Easter, when Islamic extremists targeted three churches and three hotels in Colombo in a series of bombings. The attacks killed 253 people and injured hundreds more.
The British government commissioned Bishop of Truro Philip Mounstephen to lead a review of persecution of Christians and to recommend how the U.K. Foreign Office should respond to it. That review has now published an interim report detailing its findings so far.
"Evidence shows not only the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution, but also its increasing severity," the report states. "In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN."
The review found that eradicating Christians and other minorities through violence was the explicit objective of extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, northeast Nigeria and the Philippines.
These groups are not only murdering Christians for their faith but also whitewashing all evidence of their existence by destroying churches and removing religious symbols such as crosses. Clergy are also being targeted for kidnapping and killing.
"Where these and other incidents meet the tests of genocide, governments will be required to bring perpetrators to justice, aid victims and take preventative measures for the future," the report said.
"The main impact of such genocidal acts against Christians is exodus. Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest…. Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region," the report continued.
The Christian population is now below 1.5 percent in Palestine, according to the report. In war-torn Syria, which has been occupied by extremists such as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), the Christian population dropped from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000.
In Iraq, where ISIS and smaller extremist groups also have a strong foothold, including control of some areas, the number of Christians has fallen from 1.5 million before 2003—the year the second Gulf war started—to below 120,000 today.
Slaughtering people for their religious beliefs. And yet we're the superior species on Earth.
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