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02 January 2020 - 10:23
News ID: 448266
Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in New York City and around the US, leaving members of the Jewish community feeling frightened and unsafe.

RNA - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a series of measures to tackle what he called an anti-Semitism "crisis" sweeping the United States.

"It has taken a more and more violent form," de Blasio told NPR, adding that the "forces of hate have been unleashed."

De Blasio said he was increasing police presence in Jewish communities of New York, as well as adding security cameras and community safety patrols.

De Blasio's remarks came after Grafton Thomas, 37, allegedly entered Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg's house during Hanukkah celebrations and stabbed five people with a machete before fleeing.

The attack happened late on Saturday in Rockland County, about 30 miles north of New York City. Authorities said Thomas had handwritten journals containing anti-Semitic references and had recently used his phone to look up information on German dictator Adolf Hitler.

New York, home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, had long been a place where Jews felt safe. But after Saturday's stabbing frenzy, and a shooting earlier this month at a kosher deli in New York's Jersey City that left six dead, the community is on edge.

"Anti-Semitism has never been so bad. It's becoming more and more of an issue. It's crazy," 23-year-old Chaim Kaplan tells AFP after completing his prayers Monday morning at the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights.

Last year, a white supremacist shot dead 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue -- the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States.

A report in April from the Anti-Defamation League stated that the number of anti-Semitic attacks in 2018 was close to the record of 2017, with 1,879 incidents.

US President Donald Trump on Sunday urged Americans to unite against anti-Semitism.

"We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism," Trump tweeted, describing the attack at the Rabbis home as "horrific".

However, recent surveys show that the majority of Jews believe Trump bears some responsibility for the rising anti-Semitism in the US.

Experts say Trump is trying to help his 2020 election campaign by prolonging and weaponizing the debate over Israel and anti-Semitism among the Democratic Party, which has historically enjoyed more support among US Jews.

Tags: US New York Jews
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