Protesters kneel in front of a police officer during a demonstration Monday, June 1, 2020, in Salt Lake City. As police lined up in riot gear, hundreds crowded onto the common area between the Salt Lake City-County Building and the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building and eventually began asking police to join them on their knees. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

“We at the Conference of Jewish Affairs are appalled and angered by the wanton destruction that rioters in the Los Angeles area have wrought on Jewish synagogues, institutions, and shops in the significant Jewish area along Fairfax.  Much of the destruction and defacement of these Jewish synagogues and stores is deliberate and targeted acts of anti-Semitism.


“We have known for years that Black Lives Matters is an abhorrently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish organization.  This anti-Semitism has trickled down from Black Lives Matters into large segments of those rioting.


“We are bewildered by the lack of any condemnation from the major Jewish organizations in Los Angeles or around the country against these willful acts of anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israel.  It seems that for many Jewish organizations the cause of Black Lives Matters is more important than the safety and dignity of Jewish institutions and individuals.  Once again, multitudes of Jewish people are being asked to sacrifice their safety and dignity in behalf of causes the Jewish leadership deems more important.


“Justice must be justice for all,” stated Rabbi Aryeh Spero,  “and justice is not limited to one area or group only.  It is a false claim that support for justice for George Floyd requires that injustices being perpetrated now by the rioters are to be overlooked.  Our fear is that such selectivity implies an actual indifference to the suffering of those who do not fall within the politicized and intersectional claimants in today’s ‘victimhood’ arena.


“Furthermore, we profoundly disagree with the assertion being promoted by the ADL and virtually all Jewish organizations that America is a country filled with systemic and institutional racism.  This statement is false and wrong.  While there is racism in America and other parts of the world by individuals, those who mingle and frequent with the American people know that in today’s America racism is not systemic or institutional. No one we know,” added Rabbi Spero, “revels in racism, and virtually every American was revolted by what was done to George Floyd.


“Jewish organizations that make such a broad, indiscriminate charge against fellow Americans, and America itself, as being systemically and institutionally racist are expressing a nefarious form of bigotry against the American people and America.  Equally alarming, they are fanning the flames of division at a time when we need unity and are inciting further discontent and rioting by the bitterness of their rhetoric.”


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