US Ambassador to Israel: American Jews Not Immune to Antisemitism
Despite the values of tolerance in U.S. society, American Jews are not immune to the perils of antisemitism, warned the U.S. ambassador to Israel at a Jerusalem conference on antisemitism.
Ambassador Dan Shapiro told an audience at the 5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism — which took place between Tuesday and Thursday this week — that the U.S. has “zero tolerance” for antisemitism and is “pressing” other governments, including in Europe, to “stamp it out.”
He said the U.S. has urged other governments to hold perpetrators of antisemitic attacks accountable.
“Arrest, investigate, prosecute,” he said.
“We are not immune in the U.S.,” he declared, saying Jewish students have been targeted on campuses nationwide and noting a recent rise in antisemitic hate crimes.
“One hate crime is one too many,” he told the forum.
Indeed, one recent study showed that as many as 54% of Jewish college students said they had experienced or witnessed antisemitism at their schools.
The Anti-Defamation League said in its annual report that there were 912 antisemitic acts reported in the U.S. in 2014, up more than 20% from the 751 incidents in 2013.
Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center released a study that said 2014 was the worst year for antisemitic attacks in a decade, with 766 violent antisemitic acts committed and the majority occurring in the U.S. and European countries.
These attacks include the desecration of Jewish holy sites and threats against individuals or Jewish institutions, such as schools, synagogues and community centers.
“The U.S. will always lead, unequivocal in standing up to antisemitism, rally others, including vs [sic] unfair criticism or delegitimization of Israel,” Shapiro said via Twitter on Thursday.