Recent Threats Toward Jewish People & Synagogues Prompts Unity on 84th Anniversary of Kristallnacht
Recent acts of antisemitism, including a threat against New Jersey synagogues, prompted the Morris County Board of County Commissioners to call for unity and lambast anti-Jewish attacks last night, on the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
Kristallnacht, also known as the “Night of Broken Glass,”
marks the night of Nov. 9 and early Nov. 10, 1938, when mobs of Germans and Austrians attacked, looted, and burned Jewish shops and homes, destroyed 267 synagogues, killed more than 90 Jewish people and drove another 30,000 into jails and prisons.
The Commissioners said they were moved, in part, because of social media threats made last week against Jews in New Jersey that prompted the FBI to issue a rare warning and led law enforcement to increase security around synagogues and Jewish organizations to close activities.
Coincidentally, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey announced today it has charged 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul, of Sayreville with making the threats.
“What needs to be said is, antisemitism is again growing in our society and in the world -- and it’s not just about lone kooks. Last week’s threat followed the widely reported antisemitic slurs openly uttered and posted to social media by some celebrities in this nation. We are seeing a great deal of antisemitism coming from people who are successful in life, supposedly educated, and in positions of prominence,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.
The remarks came as the board was preparing to host its annual Veterans Day Observance by honoring local veterans with their Morris County Distinguished Service Medals.
“Veterans served, as I served, for the highest ideals, for the freedoms we enjoy, speech, religion, assembly, and so much more. Those who perpetuate hate based on ANY religion, or ANY ethnic background, do not honor the service of our veterans or those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Deputy Director John Krickus, retired USMC.
Commissioner Deborah Smith, who is Jewish, said the growing wave of antisemitism has been fomenting for many years, undeterred by “polite society.”
“While this scourge has long clouded our society, this latest resurgence has been building for over a decade, and Director Selen touched on something very important: This rise in antisemitism is NOT just coming from lone kooks and neo-Nazis. It is being embraced by many elites in our society, and it has permeated our suburban enclaves, even here in Morris County,” Smith said.
More than 350 Morris County residents participated in a "Community Rally Against Hate'' in January 2020 with the Commissioners and many other county and state officials, as well as religious leaders, following several violent attacks on Jews and synagogues around the nation in 2019.
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