Chicago Jewish community leaders on Wednesday denounced a surge in anti-Semitism across the city, state and country ahead of the first meeting of the new city council.
Aldo. Debra Silverstein, No. 50, spoke at a press conference alongside New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Leinsdorf, and then announced May to Judea on the city council. We shared a resolution declaring American American History Month.
“Anti-Semitism, fueled by hatred and ignorance, is a stain on humanity’s conscience and we need to face it head-on with unwavering resolve,” Silverstein told reporters.
Citywide anti-Semitic hate crimes increased from 8 in 2021 to 38 in 2022, according to Chicago Police Department data. Anti-Semitic incidents rose 44% in the Midwest last year and more than doubled in Illinois, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
[ Chicago hate crimes doubled in 2022. Authorities warn of neo-Nazi ‘Day of Hate.’ ]
After many city councilors rose to support the resolution, Mayor Brandon Johnson praised the contribution of the Jewish-American community to Chicago.
“With the rise of anti-Semitic activity in our country, it is more important than ever to stand together against our common enemy of hatred,” Johnson said.
Kraft, who founded a foundation to fight anti-Semitism and is CEO of the Kraft Group, said he had noticed “disturbing behavior” that he likened to events in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. .
“I can’t believe I’ve ever seen a neo-Nazi demonstrating with a swastika,” Kraft said on Zoom. “Here he is in the United States of America in 2023. No room for hate.”
Emphasizing his organization’s “Fight against Jewish hatred” campaign, symbolized by the square blue pins worn by many of the press conference speakers, he said, Nevertheless,” he called on the American people to unite.
David Goldenberg, Midwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said these are the best times, not just for Jews in America, but around the world. But at the same time, anti-Semitism is on the rise, he added.
One of the big concerns, Goldenberg said, is that hatred is altering “the heart and mind.” He added that anti-Semitic attitudes are rising across the country at the fastest pace in decades.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to those who do not recognize or understand the threat facing the American Jewish community,” Goldenberg said.
Goldenberg said access to technology that exposes people to hate speech and symbols has contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism. The political environment, which encourages leaders to be more outspoken on social media and elsewhere, and the ease with which people isolate themselves from opinions that challenge theirs, also contributed to the increase, he added. rice field.
Silverstein told city council that Jews helped split the atom to end World War II and create a vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Told.
She recalled a series of anti-Semitic attacks on the Far North Side ward several years ago. Schools and synagogues have been painted with swastikas, and windows of Jewish businesses have been smashed, Silverstein said, adding that she is the only Jewish member of the city council. Her voters are always on high alert, she added.
Silverstein has previously said her borough is home to Chicago’s largest Orthodox Jewish community.
“I was afraid.
Asked whether he would urge Johnson to fire police officers known to be associated with far-right extremist groups “Oath Keepers” and “Proud Boys” to make Chicago’s Jewish community more comfortable. Silverstein did not give a clear answer. answer. She said, “We can discuss it offline,” to which she replied, “Yes,” just before the press conference ended.