Top House Republican blames Squad’s ‘bigotry’ against Israel for anti-Semitic attacks as he introduces legislation targeting hate crimes against Jews
- Top House Republicans introduced legislation against anti-Semitic hate crimes
- Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed ‘Squad’ for criticizing Israel
- McCarthy blasted AOC, Cori Bush, and Rashida Tlaib for calling Israel ‘apartheid’
- During fighting between Israel and Hamas, Jews in US were targeted for attacks
- Last week, Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ended 11 days of warfare
- More than 250 people – most of them Palestinians – were killed in the fighting
- Progressive Democrats criticized Israel’s harsh response to Palestinian rockets
Top Congressional Republicans on Tuesday suggested that ‘The Squad’ and other Democrats’ ‘sentiment of bigotry’ helped spark anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in the United States after they publicly criticized Israel for its military actions in Gaza.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and fellow Republican David Kustoff introduced a bill to prevent anti-Semitic hate crimes on Tuesday.
McCarthy told Fox News that the Preventing Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Act that he introduced on Tuesday was a response to the scenes of Jews being attacked by supporters of Palestine.
‘Over the past several weeks a growing number of House Democrats wrongly blamed the violence in the Middle East on Israel,’ McCarthy told Fox News.
‘In fact, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush irresponsibly tried to delegitimize our closest ally in the region, calling it an “apartheid state.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and fellow Republican David Kustoff introduced a bill to prevent anti-Semitic hate crimes on Tuesday. McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, suggested that ‘The Squad’ and other Democrats helped spark anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in the United States after they publicly criticized Israel for its military actions in Gaza
McCarthy blasted ‘The Squad’ including House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who criticized Israel for its military response which killed scores of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip earlier this month
Another ‘Squad’ member, House Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first woman of Palestinian origin to be elected to Congress, has also drawn fire from Republicans for her sharply critical comments about Israel. Tlaib is seen above during a pro-Palestinian protest in Dearborn, Michigan on May 16
First-term House Rep. Cori Bush (seen above on May 6), a Democrat from Missouri, was also slammed by Republicans for referring to Israel as ‘an apartheid state’
‘Within days, this same sentiment of bigotry spilled into several major US cities.
‘Graphic videos showed pro-Hamas mobs intentionally target random Americans simply because they were Jewish.’
Bush, the first-term progressive lawmaker from St. Louis, tweeted on May 15: ‘Apartheid states aren’t democracies.’
Ocasio-Cortez, the second-term member of Congress from New York, tweeted the same.
Members of The Squad, a group of progressive Democratic Party lawmakers, are seen above from left to right on January 3: Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Jamaal Bowman, Ocasio-Cortez, Bush, and Ayanna Pressley. Republicans have suggested that their criticisms of Israel have fueled anti-Semitic attacks against Jews perpetrated by supporters of Palestine
Ocasio-Cortez last week condemned violent attacks on Jews in the streets of America, days after she was accused of anti-Semitism for branding Israel an ‘apartheid state’.
‘We will never, ever tolerate antisemitism here in NY or anywhere in the world. The recent surge in attacks is horrifying. We stand with our Jewish communities in condemning this violence,’ tweeted Ocasio-Cortez on Friday.
She spoke after a fragile cease-fire was declared between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza strip, following an 11-day conflict that left more than 250 dead, the vast majority of them Palestinians.
Last Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez drew criticism from some quarters after she and her ‘Squad’ of left-wing House Democrats tweeted in apparent reference to Israel: ‘Apartheid states are not democracies.’
‘Apartheid’ was the system of institutional racial segregation that was in place in South Africa until the early 1990s.
Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and its system of Jewish settlements that have been built on land that the international community considers as belonging to Palestinians have drawn comparisons to apartheid.
Bush, Ocasio-Cortez, and other members of the ‘Squad’ like House Reps. Ilhan Omar, Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib slammed Israel for its military response to Palestinian rockets fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza earlier this month.
Omar, a Muslim woman who immigrated to the US from her native Somalia, accused Israel of ‘terrorism’ after air strikes killed scores of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.
Tlaib was seen confronting President Joe Biden in what was a tense, eight-minute conversation on the tarmac of the airport in Detroit last Tuesday.
Tlaib is the first Palestinian-American female member of Congress who represents Detroit. She has been outspoken in her criticism of the Biden administration’s support for Israeli military operations.
‘As long as the message from Washington is that our military support for Israel is unconditional, Netanyahu’s extremist right-wing government will continue to expand settlements, continue to demolish homes and continue to make the prospects for peace impossible,’ Tlaib said earlier this month.
After Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, Tlaib said: ‘The US must condition funding [for Israel] to uphold human rights, and end the funding entirely if those conditions are not met.’
Israel is the largest recipient of American foreign aid. For decades, the bipartisan consensus in Washington was that the Jewish State is the closest US ally in the Middle East and that military support was a key foreign policy cornerstone.
But critics of Israel on the left are growing more vocal in demanding that American aid be conditioned on the Israeli government’s behavior toward the Palestinians.
Human rights organizations like Amnesty International have called for both Israel and Hamas to be investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity over their conduct during the fighting, namely the targeting of civilians.
Israel has also been accused of punitive measures against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, where almost two million Palestinians are confined to a tiny, impoverished enclave with no freedom of movement.
Tlaib was seen confronting Biden in what was a tense, eight-minute conversation on the tarmac of the airport in Detroit last Tuesday.
During 11 days of warfare between Israel and Hamas, more than 250 people were killed – the vast majority of them Palestinians.
The fighting in the Middle East sparked anger among supporters of Palestine in the United States – some of whom tried to attack Jewish Americans.
McCarthy said these ‘hateful attacks contradict the very essence of our nation’s core principles.’
‘Yet socialist Democrats continue to endorse and promote repulsive anti-Semitic rhetoric, while Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer refuse to unambiguously condemn the unhinged statements from members of their own party,’ McCarthy said.
‘This follows more than four years of abhorrent smears from Democrats, including then-candidate Biden and Whip Clyburn, who frequently equated President Trump and Republicans to Hitler and Nazis, diminishing the atrocities of the last century for cheap political talking points.’
‘In the face of rising anti-Semitism, we cannot turn a blind eye,’ McCarthy said.
‘Jewish Americans deserve not just rhetorical support, but legislative action ensuring that perpetrators of these vile attacks are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.’
He added: ‘That is why Republicans introduced a bill today that would make combating anti-Semitic hate crimes a priority for law enforcement. Republicans stand against these toxic attacks on Jewish-Americans. The entire House must do the same.’
House Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House of Representatives, co-authored the legislation with McCarthy
Kustoff told Fox News that the US is ‘witnessing a spike of brutal anti-Semitic harassment and assault across our cities.’
‘Now is the time for members of Congress to stand up and show the world that these despicable and hateful attacks have no place in our country,’ he said, adding that the bill ‘will help combat anti-Semitism in the US and ensure the individuals who commit these violent attacks are prosecuted and held accountable for their actions.’
‘As a proud member of the Jewish community, and one of only two Jewish Republicans in Congress, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support and pass this crucial piece of legislation,’ Kustoff said.
The legislation states: ‘Jews are the targets of the majority of hate crimes committed in the United States against any religious group, including attacks on houses of worship and Jewish community centers.’
‘Amid ongoing conflict in May 2021 between Israel, which is one of the closest allies of the United States, and Hamas, which is a terrorist organization and has been designated by the United States as such since 1997, media reports indicate that there has been a dramatic increase in hate crimes and violence against Jews in the United States,’ the legislation states.
The bill states that ‘activists and mobs acting in support’ of Hamas and its sympathizers ‘have incited and perpetrated hate crimes and violence against Jews in the United States. In 2021.’
‘In its most extreme form, anti-Semitism aims at the physical destruction of the Jewish people, as seen in pogroms, forced conversions and Nazi Germany’s murder of over six million Jews,’ the bill states.
‘Anti-Semitism has included attacks on the livelihood of Jews including prohibitions on land ownership, campaigns to boycott, confiscate or destroy Jewish businesses, and denial of the ability of Jews to practice certain professions.’
Israel and militant group Hamas reached a ceasefire agreement over the weekend after 11 days of fighting.
More than 250 people were killed in Gaza, including over 60 children.
Twelve people were killed in Israel and 20 died in unrest that broke out in the West Bank.
Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which rules over the Gaza Strip, reached a ceasefire agreement ending 11 days of warfare that claimed the lives of more than 250 people – the vast majority of them Palestinians. The image above shows Israeli anti-missile systems intercepting rockets launched from the Gaza Strip toward the town of Ashkelon on May 12
Progressives in the US have criticized Israel’s harsh military response to Palestinian rocket fire. The image above shows a Palestinian woman carrying her child on Sunday amid the rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli air strikes
America’s anti-Semitism crisis worsens: Teen is put in a chokehold, feces is left outside a synagogue, man is arrested for torching a community center and temple-goers get armed escorts in LA amid spike in hate crimes as pro-Palestinian factions target Jews
America is witnessing a worsening surge of anti-Semitic attacks as Jews are targeted by some pro-Palestinian factions who have been triggered by violence in the Middle East.
Although a ceasefire has called a halt to armed clashes overseas – at least for now – tensions between Israel and Hamas still are spilling into the streets of towns and cities across the U.S.
President Joe Biden criticized the wave of violence, tweeting Monday: ‘The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad – it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.’
In New York, for instance, the NYPD said 195 hate crimes were reported in NYC between January 1 and May 1, an increase of 71% from the same period last year.
Although the figures did not state how many of the incidents were anti-Semitic, the Anti-Defamation League has identified an increase in attacks against Jews specifically.
The group received 193 reports of anti-Jewish incidents in the week after the Israel-Palestine crisis began, up from 131 the previous week.
In Los Angeles, volunteers have set up armed patrols to accompany temple-goers, while the LAPD has also stepped up its presence.
One local man, Steve Goldstein, 35, told the LA Times he had ‘never felt so scared being in Los Angeles’ after a series of high-profile attacks.
A roundup of recent anti-Jewish attacks in the U.S. follows:
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
A Jewish teenager was put in a chokehold after refusing to repeat anti-Semitic slurs and another chased with a baseball bat in one of two attacks against Jews in Brooklyn this weekend.
The boys, aged 17 and 18, were approached by two men at around 7.45pm on Saturday before they ‘demanded that the victims repeat anti-Jewish statements,’ according to NYPD.
When the teenagers refused, the attackers began punching them in the head and put the 17-year-old in a ‘rear chokehold’ before one of the thugs chased his companion while ‘brandishing a baseball bat’.
The perpetrators then fled the scene in Borough Park in a blue Toyota Camry, according to police.
There were two anti-Jewish incidents in Brooklyn this weekend. This image is a still from surveillance camera footage of the second one, which saw three men shout at Jews walking by a synagogue
When the four male victims fled into the synagogue, two of the three attackers jumped out the Toyota, banged on the front door of the building, and kicked the side mirror of a nearby car before fleeing
The president on Monday called the recent string of attacks on Jews ‘despicable’ and said ‘it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor’
Within the same hour and in the same area, three men in a car with the same description approached four Jews walking outside a synagogue and ‘yelled anti-Jewish statements’, police said.
When the four male victims fled into the synagogue, two of the three attackers jumped out the Toyota, banged on the front door of the building, and kicked the side mirror of a nearby car before fleeing.
The NYPD tweeted that the three males are wanted for aggravated harassment and said that officers have now stepped up their patrols in Jewish communities. NYPD believes both incidents involved the same perpetrators, reported CNN.
Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Jewish leaders in Borough Park on Sunday and said: ‘We will stomp out anti-Semitism anywhere we find it. It is unacceptable.
The NYPD tweeted that the three males are wanted for aggravated harassment (pictured is the synagogue)
‘This is a city that is for everyone, and anybody who perpetrates an act of bias and prejudice, they will be found.’
It came after Jewish accountant Joseph Borgen, 29, was attacked by four men in Times Square when he was heading to a pro-Israel rally. He is believed to have been identified as Jewish by the kippah he was wearing at the time.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Armed patrols have been set up to accompany Jews on the way to worship following a spike in anti-Semitic violence there.
Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Remi Franklin, 37, said he established the ‘vigilance patrol’ in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles so families could walk the streets without fearing attack.
‘It’s Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, mixed martial arts, and just friends with them, it’s the people who want to do something,’ Franklin told the Los Angeles Times. ‘Women who are former dancers and gymnasts are walking with people to make them feel more comfortable.’
Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Remi Franklin, 37, said he established the ‘vigilance patrol’ in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles so families could walk the streets without fearing attack
Franklin has shared photos of patrol members on his Instagram account. These men are seen standing outside a synagogue
Local Jews say the patrols are sadly necessary.
‘Many people are definitely scared,’ actor Jonathan Lipnicki, 30, said. ‘It’s a terrifying time for the Jewish community.’
‘These people are only here to enjoy their families, walk and go home. They need to ensure their safety.’
‘I’ve never been so scared of being in Los Angeles,’ 35-year-old Steve Goldstein said after people shouted ‘Jewish death’ at a synagogue off La Brea.
A car convoy flying Palestinian flags is pictured rolling through the Beverly Grove section of LA on Tuesday before some of the men attacked Jewish diners at a restaurant
The attackers were seen throwing glasses and yelling anti-Semitic slurs
Police have arrested a 30-year-old man after a group of Jewish diners were attacked while eating at a restaurant.
Xavier Pabon, of Banning, California, was arrested late Friday and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Initial bail was set at $275,000, but Los Angeles Police Department said it had asked for enhanced bail ‘due to the crime being motivated by hatred.’
Cops believe he was part of a group waving Palestine flags that pulled up at Sushi Fumi restaurant in the city’s bustling Beverly Grove neighborhood at around 10pm Tuesday before shouting anti-Semitic abuse at Jewish customers and pelting them with bottles.
In an earlier incident, on Monday night, a Jewish Orthodox man was chased by a pro-Palestinian convoy as he walked to a synagogue (pictured)
‘Somebody in one of the cars driving by started throwing glass bottles or glass cups at the tables and they shattered everywhere,’ a woman told CBSLA, adding that a group of about 30 charged the tables and began asking, ‘Who’s Jewish?’
A day before Orthodox Jews had to run for safety as they were chased down by two cars bearing Palestinian flags.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles said the father-of-six – who is too scared to be publicly identified – ‘literally had to run for his life’.
A New York man was charged Saturday with setting fire to a synagogue and Jewish school in Brooklyn earlier in the week.
Ali Alaheri, 29, is accused of torching the Jewish center near Borough Park at around 4am on Wednesday.
The building suffered some damage before firefighters put the fire out.
Federal prosecutors said Alaheri was seen on surveillance cameras ‘piling numerous garbage bags’ against the door before setting several of them on fire.
Ali Alaheri, 29, is accused of torching the Jewish center near Borough Park at around 4am on Wednesday
He was charged with one federal count of malicious arson on Saturday, according to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
‘The defendant’s alleged actions endangered the lives of numerous individuals, from the congregants and students at the synagogue and yeshiva, to the first responders who arrived to extinguish the flames, to the neighboring members of the community,’ ATF Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito said in a press release.
Just hours before, Alaheri had attacked a man who appeared to be Jewish, it is claimed.
‘Alaheri can be seen on surveillance footage punching a Jewish man multiple times in the head with no provocation or prior interaction,’ a charging document alleges.
‘The man, who was sitting in front of an autobody shop on the same block as the [yeshiva and synagogue], was wearing traditional Hasidic clothing. After the assault, Alaheri can be seen jumping over a fence into an alleyway less than two blocks away from the [yeshiva and synagogue] and the assault.’
After that, officials say Alaheri stole a bicycle and rode away. He was arrested two days later.
HALLANDALE BEACH, FLORIDA
A man yelled anti-Semitic remarks at a rabbi in front of a South Florida synagogue, before returning and dumping a bag of human feces in front of the building.
Cellphone video captured the unidentified man as he shouted ‘Jews should die’ at a rabbi outside the Chabad of South Broward on Friday.
The man left and returned a short time later, carrying a bag that contained human feces, said Hallandale Beach Police Capt. RaShana Dabney-Donovan.
Cellphone video captured the unidentified man as he shouted ‘Jews should die’ at a rabbi outside the Chabad of South Broward on Friday. The man left and returned a short time later, carrying a bag that contained human feces (he is pictured dropping it off)
The man then returned for a second time on Sunday with a cooler containing human excrement. He dropped it off before pedaling away on an electric bike
Cellphone video captured the unidentified man as he shouted ‘Jews should die’ at a rabbi outside the Chabad of South Broward on Friday
He dumped the bag in front of the synagogue and yelled, ‘Jews should die,’ according to a police report.
He also spat at a menorah near a sidewalk, according to the police.
The man then returned for a second time on Sunday with a cooler containing human excrement. He dropped it off before pedaling away on an electric bike, WSVN reported.
Earlier this month, a Hallandale Beach man reported having rocks thrown at him as he walked to the Chabad of South Broward.
‘It’s very important for us to combat these types of incidents,’ said Dabney-Donovan.
Times Square attack suspect: ‘I’d do it again’
A New Yorker who was part of a gang of four pro-Palestinian men that used his crutch to pummel a Kippa-wearing Jewish man on his way to a pro-Israel rally on Thursday has shown no remorse for the brutal beatdown, prosecutors said.
Waseem Awawdeh, 23, was arrested for kicking, macing, and pummeling 29-year-old Joseph Borgen during the attack and was arraigned before Judge Kathryn Paek in Manhattan Criminal Court on Saturday.
Prosecutors said during the arraignment that Awawdeh confessed to battering the man to one of his jailers, the New York Post reported.
On Friday, the NYPD identified 23-year-old Waseem Awawdah as one of the suspects in the attack
‘If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again,’ he allegedly said.
Victim Joseph Borgen, 29, an accountant, told DailyMail.com: ‘I turned around to try to figure out what was going on and the next thing I knew I was surrounded by a whole crowd of people who proceeded to physically attack me, beat me, kick me, punch me, hit me with crutches, hit me with flag poles.’
‘I don’t even want to look in the mirror,’ said Borgen, his face and body bruised, and head throbbing from a possible concussion.
Video of the assault showed Borgen was left defenseless on the ground as he was battered by the angry mob outside of 1604 Broadway.
‘After I wound up on the ground, I was literally just in a fetal position, trying to guard my head and face, literally just trying to make it out of their alive,’ Borgen said.
‘I thought I was going to die. I thought I was really going to die.’
Borgen said there were eight to 10 people taking part in the beatdown and they were shouting anti-Semitic slurs such as: ‘You filthy Jew. We’re going to f*****g kill you. Go back to Israel. Hamas is going to kill you.’
He said the most painful part occurred toward the end, when they pepper sprayed him.
‘I thought I was getting urinated on because I felt a stream on my face. ‘They maced me or pepper sprayed me for like a minute straight.’
Police released pictures of four suspects who allegedly beat Jewish man Joseph Borgen in Times Square. The third and fourth images from left appear to be the same person