At a time when government officials, community leaders and citizens are speaking about the increased number of anti-Semitic, bias and racist incidents across the country, The Rockland Voice has posted an opinion piece ( ‘The Elephant In The Room – Is Anti-Semitism Rising In Rockland County) that is dismissive of the dangers of this hatred.
More than 100 bomb threats have been received by Jewish organizations that serve all members of the community yet the authors choose to depict and downplay that as “numerous” bomb threats.
They adopt the same tone in regard to the Swastikas and threatening and hateful words painted in publicly visible areas including trees, fences and streets of our county and inside subway cars in New York City. They consider these acts “inconsequential” because those responsible have not yet been caught. They ignore the sheer fact that this type of vandalism and hatred has increased in frequency over the past year here and throughout the United States. If public condemnation is limited, if the community doesn’t speak out and if the perpetrators aren’t caught, those who committed these acts and others will become emboldened and seek new targets. That presents a danger to us all. Our world has seen how acts of hate if ignored can grow into waves of destruction and attempts to destroy people because of their religion, race, nationality or gender.
These acts show us the power of words and how they can affect people. The opinion piece does the same thing with its misuse of “cult.” This word is being used to drive a greater wedge between residents and it’s time for this rhetoric to stop. It’s used inappropriately and in an attempt to inflame people.
This type of inflammatory speech will only lead to more problems; not dialogue and solutions.
Chair-Community Relations Council
Jewish Federation of Rockland County