SCRANTON, Pa. — David Fallk from the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania says the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. seems different than during previous conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Anti-Defamation League tracks reports of verbal and physical attacks as well as online comments and has found what it calls a “drastic surge” in antisemitism since the conflict in the Middle East escalated a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s awful that in America you can’t feel free to walk around without having to look over your shoulder or be afraid because of the way you dress or because of who you are is under attack,” said Fallk.
There’s recently been a lot of debate around when criticizing the Israeli government or supporting the Palestinians amounts to antisemitism, or at least fuels the fire.
“It’s a fine line. Criticism of Israel is and can be legitimate. However, criticizing Israel for things that you don’t criticize other people for crosses the line,” said Fallk.
“We have to make sure there’s a difference between the arsonists and the firefighters. Hamas has pledged to destroy Israel. Iran has pledged to destroy Israel. Israel didn’t start with the rockets.”
Fallk would like to see “swift and sure” condemnation of antisemitism from leaders across the board.
“And messages of no-nonsense that this will not be tolerated in America. It’s un-American.”
Fallk says, fortunately, the rise in antisemitic attacks that we’re seeing across the country has not reached our area.
Originally posted on May 26. 2021 on WNEP. Read the original article here.
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