A Republican rep. from Nebraska recently made a plea in Congress for Washington to do more to stand up for American Jews in the face of mounting anti-Semitic incidents.

Addressing his fellow politicians on the alarming rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the US in recent months, Don Bacon (NE-R) called the situation “very concerning.”

He noted that with incidents not happening in isolation but as part of a broader attack on the nation’s Jewish communities, “their sheer volume should frighten us all.”

The country must do more to acknowledge the attacks and ensure perpetrators are held accountable, he said.

The most telling sign of how dangerous the situation has become is evident through statistics, with the ADL stating that there has been an 80 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in US in the last year.

These hate crimes include Nazi symbols in parks, synagogues and schools and anti-Semitic assaults.

Incidents have occurred in Bacon’s home state of Nebraska.

The South Street Temple in Lincoln was spray painted with swastikas and racial epithets. In Omaha, Temple Israel’s cemetery had 75 gravestones toppled over, causing $50,000 in damage.

“I’ve repeatedly condemned this behaviour and stood with Nebraska’s Jewish community and all those across the United State who’ve experienced similar situations,” Bacon said.

He recently met with Rabbi David Hofstedter, founder of Dirshu, the largest Torah study organization in the world. Rabbi Hofstedter travelled to Washington to speak with Congress members about the rise of Jew hatred, and how hatred of the State of Israel manifests into anti-Semitism toward the Jewish people across the world.

Don Bacon meets Rabbi David Hofstedter
Don Bacon meets Rabbi David Hofstedter Courtesy

“I committed to Rabbi Hofstedter that we in Congress will do everything in our power to continue standing up for the Jewish people and ensuring their safety from New York to Nebraska and all across the United States,” Bacon said.

Rabbi Hofstedter, in his address, noted that the situation for the Jewish community was at its most perilous since the 1930s.

“After watching the hate crimes against our Jewish brothers and sisters in the last few weeks it’s abundantly clear that the rabbi’s words were sadly and tragically understated,” Bacon said.

“It’s time for us in Congress to wake up to the reality of the hatred that’s being directly towards the Jewish people to ensure that never again means never again.”

He implored fellow members of Congress not to “buckle under fear but rather call out the haters.”

“Martin Luther King said, ‘Darkness can’t drive out darkness.’ Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” Bacon said. “I thank Rabbi Hofstedter for all that he and the members of Dirshu continue to do to advance Jewish scholarship in education in the face of the evil that has been perpetrated on their community in recent weeks.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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