By Ronni Berke, CNN
New York (CNN) – Synagogues firebombed and defaced by graffiti. Windows smashed at shops owned by Jewish merchants. Is anti-Semitism on the rise?
The FBI is investigating a rash of anti-Semitic attacks in northern New Jersey, including the attempted murder of a rabbi after incendiary devices were thrown at his home above a synagogue.
Rabbi Nosson Schuman suffered minor burns in the incident Wednesday at Beth El Synagogue in Rutherford.
It was the fourth anti-Semitic incident in the past month in Bergen County. On January 4, a Paramus synagogue was hit by an arson attack, and in December, two temples were vandalized.
No arrests have been made. "We don't know if we're looking at one person or a group of people," said Bryan Travers of the FBI's Newark division.
In November, vandals smashed windows at five stores owned by Jewish merchants in Middlesex County.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie condemned the recent synagogue attacks. "I will not stand for it, and we will summon all necessary law enforcement resources to identify and prosecute those responsible," Christie said in a statement.
The Anti-Defamation League, which catalogs anti-Semitic incidents nationwide, is urging law enforcement authorities to step up security around synagogues. It's offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the Bergen County attacks.
But Jewish leaders and scholars contacted by CNN could only speculate on why there is a surge in anti-Semitic incidents in the Northeast.
"This year, it did go up, but I'm not ready to draw any conclusions," said Ken Jacobson, the ADL's deputy national director.
But Jacobson said he was concerned about the spike in attacks in New Jersey. "The surge of these incidents in a short period of time in New Jersey is not a conventional kind of thing," Jacobson said.
The type of incident is also alarming, he said. A rabbi attacked in his home is far more worrying than a swastika scrawled on a door. "We are watching very closely," he said.
Economic insecurity and polarization "create the kind of atmosphere where people act out," he said.
According to a November survey by the ADL, 15% of Americans hold deeply anti-Semitic views; that figure stood at 12% in the 2009 survey.
In the poll, 19% of respondents answered "probably true" to the statement: "Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street." The theme of the "miserly Jew," as personified by Shakespeare's Shylock, is common in anti-Semitism.
"There's a persistent economic theme of the Jew not just as miserly but as economically parasitical," says Derek Penslar, Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto, and author of "Shylock's Children."
In the 1930s, anti-Semitism was "visible, public and people did not try to hide it," Penslar said. "Jewish bankers were often accused of fomenting wars." Things are much better now, he added. "There seems to be a change in the United States in how Jews are accepted."
Penslar is not convinced that the economic downturn is the main cause of anti-Semitic attacks.
"Things were much worse in 2008 and 2009. I was expecting something then.
"My sense is more often than not what's happening now is related to Middle Eastern politics." Namely, the stalemate about Israel, Penslar says.
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center cited FBI statistics showing an actual decrease in hate crime incidents against Jews during the most recent recession.
"I don't think there are any obvious explanations," Potok says. "It may be there is a small number of people who are attacking repeatedly, and that just says you have a few very active anti-Semites out there."
Nationwide, the FBI reported 887 such incidents in 2010, compared with 1013 in 2008.
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Get Israel off the American taxpayers' dole..... problem solved.
Everything that is causing a disturbance is bad. Either graffities, or hierarchial type of behavior, which is obvious for many Jewish people to be shown.
Jews and Palestinians both deserve to live in peace and security. Without someone attacking them or stealing their land.
I'm failing to see the problem. Ki-kes get what they deserve.
I don't agree with violence or vandalism. HOWEVER, if you work in retail in Jersey, keep your eyes open. Haggling like you have never seen goes on there!!!
Brian runs to the Beard Seller's stall and hurriedly grabs an artificial beard.
How much? Quick!
It's for the wife.
Oh. Twenty shekels.
(putting the money down) There you are...
Wait a moment.
We're supposed to haggle.
No, no — I've got to...
What do you mean, 'no'?
I haven't time — I've got to get...
Give it back then.
No, no — I paid you.
Bert, a massive man, appears.
This bloke won't haggle.
(looks around) Where are the guards?
Oh all right — I mean, do we have to...
Now I want twenty for that...
I gave you twenty!
Now are you telling me that's not worth twenty shekels?
Feel the quality, that's none of yer goat..
Oh — I'll give you nineteen, then...
No, no. Do it properly.
Haggle properly. This isn't worth nineteen.
You just said it was worth twenty!
I'll give you ten...
That's more like it (Angrily) Ten? Are you trying to insult me? Me? With a poor dying grandmother...? Ten?!
Now you're getting it. Eleven? Did I hear you right? Eleven?? This cost me twelve — d'you want to ruin me?
No, no, no — you go to fourteen now!
Fourteen? Are you joking>
That's what you told me to say! (desperate) Tell me what to say, please!
Offer me fourteen.
I'll give you fourteen.
(to the onlookers) He's offering me fourteen for this!
Seventeen. My last word. I won't take a penny less, or strike me dead.
Done! (shaking Brian's hand)Nice to do business with you. Tell you what, I'll throw in this as well. (Gives Brian a gourd)
I don't want it, but thanks.
(appearing rapidly) Yes?
All right! All right!! Thank you.
Where's the sixteen then?
I already gave you twenty.
Oh yes ... that's four I owe you then. (starts looking for change)
... It's all right, it doesn't matter.
A pause while the Beard Seller tries to find change. Brian sees a pair of patrolling Roman soldiers.
It's all right, that's four for the gourd — that's fine!
Four for the gourd. Four!! Look at it, that's worth ten if it's worth a shekel.
You just gave it to me for nothing!
Yes, but it's worth ten.
All right, all right.
No, no, no. It's not worth ten. You're supposed to argue. 'What? Ten for that? You must be mad!'
Brian pays ten and runs off with the gourd, fixing the beard on his face.
Ah well, there's one born every minute.
Find them and lock them up, those hooligans.
The Left handed Swastika was the NAZI Symbol. The Right Handed Swastika was the Hindu symbol with was also found in Veitnam on gravestones which were then machinegunned by Ignorant GI's who had not paid attention to orientation and on the Question on Anti semetic Christians who are happy to forget that Jesus was Born a Jew , lived as a Jew and yes Died a Jew! Christianity is a extreme Right wing Jewish sect. folks forget this Glass House Stones etc !
Yes Christians and Muslims are Jewish heretics essentially. So yes all of you bow down to the ONE INDIVISIBLE TRUE LORD, HASHEM MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE. Or at the very least respect the fact that your religions are at the core ripped off from Judaism, and attacking Jews is ridiculous, since without them you have no Islam or Christianity. I'm not advocating burning people at the stake because they're heretics one way or the other. Just pointing out a religious view on that.
What a shame that this crap still goes on. There is one truth in it all. Call yourself what you will. You are either a follower of the light or of the darkness. Those that sow hatred and chaos will reap it now or later. Those that embrace all of humanity positively charitably and openly will live in ultimate peace with the world seen and unseen...
So, a "follower of the light" would also include a follower of none?
O course anti Semitism is on the rise there are a lot more muslims living here
nice try, but I highly doubt Muslims are behind any of this. I'm a muslim and I love my friends that are jewish.
See, being the target of hatred in the US by people like you, for the past 10 years has shown me just how hard it can be and how strong you have to be to ignore people and comments like yours. Normally, I would say I hope you never have to go through some of the things that I have, but maybe it is just what, you and whatever "your people" identify with, you need..
-Stop being a hater, we are all American, get over it. E. PLURIBUS UNUM.
Not if you're muslim.
Shariq I'm not a muslim but I consider you to be a fellow American. Deranged Mary, sadly, is also an American however. Ironically, America's greatness was not achieved by those who are most proud of it. These sub-normals have nothing to feel good about themselves so they wrap themselves in the flag and seek to take credit for the actions of truly great men and women so they won't have to confront their own relative lack of worth. This is just human nature.
6 million more, please.
But finish the job this time.
What did a Jew ever do to you? My first guess would be that one was smarter than you, but that would be obvious considering the comment that you posted.
Your hatred will consume you. Life's too short.
It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.
You sound like the perfect man for the job, too! How did that happen?
after seeing the pics of the jewish men spitting on little girls and their moms.,,,,i have no sympathy for any jewish person that "feels" they are being persecuted,,,,the jews didnt rise up and speak up for the the little girls did they....
Yes, it is very disturbing that religious narrow-mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. The worst offenders of this century are the Zionists and the people who blindly follow the Zionist belief system....if only they knew the truth about what is happening in Palestine....if only they knew the truth about the history of Zionism.
Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion
Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion
Irreligious/agnostic/atheism .....1.1 billion
Hinduism 900 million
Chinese traditional religion 394 million
Buddhism 376 million
Animist religions 300 million
African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
Sikhism 23 million
Juche 19 million
Spiritism 15 million
Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million
Baha'i 7 million
Jainism 4.2 million
Shinto 4 million
Cao Dai 4 million
Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
Tenrikyo 2 million
Neo-Paganism 1 million
Unitarian Universalism 800,000
Rastafari Movement 600,000
As always the best response to reality bull sh it is to hit report abuse on all of it
@Chuckles... Sorry ..I wasn't referring to the Jersey case..which appears much more like a HATE thing!
It's cool, but I stil disagree on a general national scale. Swastika's aren't drawn by bored teenagers to get a rise out of the community. I don't think this is true in this case or most cases in the US. The one exception might have been in my town where some (presumably) skinheads went to vandalize and tag a JCC but must have gotten mixed up and did all of it across the street from the JCC...... on a church (as if the big as.s cross at the top wasn't a tip off?). I have a feeling though that it was idiots being really big idiots.
Please.... Swastika is a Hindu holy symbol. It has nothing to do with antisemitism.
My Hindu neighbours have a big one painted on their driveway, alongside many other symbols!
So you're saying that a swastika painted on to a door of a Jewish home or synagogue is not antisemitical?
Call me crazy but something tells me that when a person draws a swastika on a syngagoue next to some graffiti, breaks windows and tries to kill a rabbi I think it points towards the antisemetic swastika, not the hindu symbol. I could totally be reading that wrong though
@Chuckles: I think their intentions were just misunderstood. *smirk*
Maybe it was supposed to be like "Hey jews! This is what people used to say about you! Good Luck (Swastika symbol)!"
And a burning cross on the lawn is just a neighbourly way of helping when someone's porch light goes out.
@Chuckles: Maybe a confluence of circumstance. For your consideration:
1) The rabbi yells at a group of kids ("Get off my lawn, you whippersnappers!"). They come back with spray-paint cans and do the graffiti.
2) A group of well-meaning hindus sees said graffiti, and adds the swastika as a wish for good luck.
3) A group of out-of-town jews see the graffiti and the swastika and think, "AHHHHH! Neo-Nazi stronghold!" They throw a Molotov cocktail through the window.
I mean stranger things have happened. I heard a dead guy came back to life once.
I would guess that the majority of swastikas painted in public view were done by bored teenagers who know they can get a big rise out of the public for 5 minutes of vandalism. The real sociopaths,the haters, burn, destroy, cause pain and even kill. Anyone filled with hate is not gonna be satisfied by drawing a cross with a can of spray paint and walking away.
I just wanna tell Sean + Chuckles thanks.
The story was getting me so upset + outraged, then I read the Hindu's crazy reply... Its a good thing you guys were there.
Thanks, I needed that!
and Doc Vestibule's joke was funny too.
I laughed. Good comedic relief there, guys!
I wonder what other events in history were just misunderstandings ... Someone tells Hitler that Poland is nice in September and should go take a look. Rosa Parks sits at the front of the bus for a second because she has a pebble in shoe. Trotsky was in south America when he goes through a series of Three Stooges like accidents and lands up with an icepick in the head.
I honestly don't understand why people will point to bored teenagers as culprits in hate crimes. Graffiti and vandalism sure, but this particular type of graffiti and vandalism has a message, it's not just to get a rise out of the community. To think that is taking away from the seriousness and giving the perpetrators who did this way more lee-way then they deserve.
You're wrong. It's a mirror image (backwards) of the swastika that you are referring to.
Some horrific WW2 reminders from
Auschwitz, Poland (German death camp: Jan. 1942-Jan. 1945): 1 200 000
US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Historical Atlas of the Holocaust and http://www.ushmm.org
Soviet POWs: 15,000
Norman Davies: 1,200,000-1,500,000 victims, of which 800,000-1,100,000 Jews
European War Dead (1939-45): 28,736,000
Sino-Ja-panese War Dead (1937-45): 7,140,000
Chinese Nationalist: 5,907,000
Allied Bombing: 796,000
Romanian domestic democide: 484,000
Chinese Communist: 250,000
Hungarian democide in Yugoslavia: 78,000
[TOTAL OF BOTH (1937-45): 84,609,000]
Okay, that's just a messed-up and un-readable mess, Reality. Time to toss that post in the garbage and re-write the whole thing.
When one death is a tragedy, millions of deaths are a statistical nightmare of epic proportions.
Your post is a nightmare of unclear references, unlabeled statistics, and makes no actual point or argument.
It isn't even on topic. Consider yourself kicked in the shins. ...and quit tossing off-topic dumps of unreviewed material here if you would be so kind!!! Is it so hard to check these things before you post? I mean really.
Not off topic and the death statistics are published at M. White's new home page, http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm.:
Um, no..it really is off-topic. You could have tied these statistics in, but you just dumped them without any lead-in, tie-in, or anything to suggest you were trying to make a point or argument.
But that's okay. We all have our little foibles.
I just prefer comprehensive readable statements over disjointed lists or statistics that lack proper headings or descriptions, that's all. What good is re-iteration when there is nothing to re-iterate but empty random content? It's not how you usually make posts so I thought I'd kick your shins a bit. Nothing personal about kicking you in the shins, is there? lol
The topic is about crimes of hate. It is obvious to rational thinkers that the list presented shows the results of uncontrolled crimes of hate.
I think that if they were crimes of hate they weren't controlled to begin with.
And it is only slightly apparent that your list is about general hate crimes.
If it were obvious I wouldn't have complained in the first place.
Pure rubbish....approx. 160 000 Jews died from ALL causes during WW2...see European census fig. for 1938–and then for 1945-46.
If you're still in doubt check Soviet archived info....
I can't believe 15% of Americans strongly dislike Jews. The stereotypes of Shylock are gone. The evangelicals embrace Israel. Most Jew's are mainstream Americans etc...What's to hate..?
80% of the people who say they strongly dislike jews are white christians.
It's " evangelical christians" that I dislike. They are nothing but arrogant bigots.
Wake up, Tony.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.