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FBI Report: Jews were the targets of over 60% of religious-based hate crimes in 2019

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The FBI released a report on 2019’s hate crime statistics Monday and one of the biggest targets of those crimes was Jews. In fact, hate crimes accounted for 60.2% of all religious-based hate crimes that year. In 2018, anti-Jewish attacks accounted for 56.9% of those anti-religious hate crimes.

Overall, there were 1,715 anti-religious hate crimes in 2019 and of the victims, 1,032 were Jews, according to the report.  

The stunning FBI numbers are consistent with a year that’s seen some of the most violent and deadly attacks against Jews across the country. The report also noted that there were approximately 7,314 hate crimes in total, which was up from 7,120 the year before. 

The year was marked by three deadly antisemitic attacks that rocked the nation. 

It began in April 2019, when a shooter opened fire on worshippers praying at a synagogue in Poway, California shocking the nation. One of the congregants, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, was killed in the attack and Jewish synagogues across the country began enhancing security but still, more and more people and communities were attacked. 

In another incident in early December 2019, two shooters opened fire on a Kosher supermarket. Police Detective Joseph Seals, the store’s cashier Douglas Rodriguez, and two customers of the store, Moshe Deutsch, and Leah Mindel Ferencz were all killed in the attack that targeted the Jewish community. The two attackers were also shot and killed.

In late December 2019, an attacker macheted Jewish men celebrating Hannukah at a Rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York. Ultimately, one of the victims, Joseph Neumann, died of his wounds after a months-long battle for his life.

The Poway and Monsey attackers in these hate crimes have not yet been brought to justice, as their cases have either been delayed due to COVID-19 or other reasons, including mental illness pleas. 

Although it’s unclear if the FBI accounts for these hate crimes in its 2019 hate crime statistics, the attacks serve as a reminder and a resounding alarm that Jewish communities across the country are under attack.

In 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic, antisemites have sought virtual mediums to spread their hateful messages with more and more people spending time on screens.

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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’

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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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