For long centuries, our nation has been subject to real threats imposed by other nations and countries. But when we arrived to the USA we felt that we have finally found a place that we can safely call home. However, things have started to change in the past few years. Over the past few weeks, eleven Jewish community centers were evacuated after receiving bomb threats. Moreover, 200 headstones were vandalized and damaged in a Jewish cemetery.
Donald Trump addressed those threats during his visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, reminding people of the effort that still needs to be done in order to remove the roots of hate and evil. Although he earlier refused to condemn the anti-Semitic threats, he later changed his mind. To most members of our community, we think that this might have been a little too late. We strongly believe that his comments are not strong enough to address what needs to be done in order to protect our Jewish community and its members.
The director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect believes that Trump’s comments are like putting a band aid on cancer, indicating that they are not strong enough to cause any kind of change. FBI records show that Jews were the subject of most religious hate crimes in 2015. Strong measures need to be taken in order to make sure that members of our community are safe to practice their religious beliefs at all times.
We can’t deny that Trump’s comments can count as an important first step of what needs to be done further in order to ensure that members of our Jewish community are safe and protected. Nevertheless, we strongly hope that Trump can take his comments one step further as he actually begins to do something about it rather than just talk. There are currently 5.3 million Jews living and working in America accounting for 2.2% of the adult population in the US. There are now 30 Jews serving in the Congress, a number that declined from the 45 who served in 2009. Three of the current eight justices in the Supreme Court are Jews. Moreover, 2 of the top 15 cabinet-level agencies are led by Jews. However, less than 1% of the military personnel who serve in the American army are Jews.
The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump who converted about a decade ago, spoke about the anti-Semitic threats on her Twitter account. A lot of other Jews strongly agree with her as she speaks about our right to protect our religious centers and houses of worship. These anti-Semitic threats tend to jeopardize what we believe America is all about since the country is based on foundations of religious tolerance that accepts people of all religious beliefs as members of the same American community.
Our nation strongly depends on influential members of the community in order to fight off and stand against anti-Semitic threats. We believe that by uniting our efforts and educating people we can make a difference.