Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.
- Anne Frank
As the conflict rages in the Middle East, occurrences of disturbing anti-semitism are happening around the world, in England, and now even in the United States.
Among the incidents, groups of Asian men chant "Heil Hitler" driving past the Jewish region of Manchester, a rabbi was attacked by four Muslim teenagers, and a pro-Israel group in north London received a bomb thread.
The International Business Times reports that "Anti-Semitic graffiti and flyers have defaced shops and walls in Rome's historical Jewish San Giovanni neighborhood raising fears of a rise in anti-Jewish sentiment in the capital." The area is believed to be the oldest Jewish community in Europe, and one of the oldest continuous Jewish settlements in the world.
Riccardo Pacifici, head of the Rome's Jewish community said "This morning Rome woke up in the worst possible way. Its walls have been defaced by dozens of graffitis praising neo-Nazi hatred towards Jews. From Appia to Prati, from the historic centre to the outskirts, insults and death threats have plastered the shops' shutters."
Closer to home in Miami, a synagogue was defaced.
CBS Miami reports that "Early Monday morning, spray painted swastikas and the word 'Hamas' were discovered on the pillars of the Congregation Torah Ve’emunah, at 1000 NE 175th Street, in northeast Miami-Dade."
While even the U.S. Administration has had strong words for Israel, writing in The Times of Israel, Eitan Chitayat says:
Our Israeli civilians – people like me – are being targeted to die. Palestinian innocents on the other side are dying because my army is trying to protect us from thugs operating in those areas who are launching rockets at my populated cities. If Palestinian innocents are dying it’s because of jihadists and terrorists (other names for thugs), but NOT because of the State of Israel that is trying to protect its citizens as any sovereign country would do. People are going to die. Innocents will die and it’s awful and it’s ugly. But we have to do what we have to do now. That is not a tone of justification. It’s me telling you the way it is – and believe me, we’re already paying the price with the blood of our people…of families who will never sit together again. Play together again. Hold each other again.
This is not a game.
Indeed, it is not.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
- Pastor Martin Niemöller