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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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Kyle Rittenhouse Found ‘Not Guilty’ On All Counts

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After three and a half days of deliberation, the jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts. “Jurors in the polarizing case said they had voted to acquit Rittenhouse, 18, of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to the August 2020 shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin” reports The Washington Post.

Rittenhouse testified during the trial during which he  became so emotional he was unable to speak in between sobs as he attempted to describe the shootings. The judge called a brief recess for Rittenhouse to regain composure.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rittenhouse said on the stand. “I defended myself.”

National Review reports “As the verdict was announced, Rittenhouse, overwhelmed with emotion, burst into tears and dropped to the ground, struggling to breathe. After collecting himself, he embraced the defense counsel who represented him throughout the trial.”

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time. Rittenhouse testified that he fired in self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all counts.

National Review reports:

“Rittenhouse was arrested on August 26, 2020, after shooting three people during the riots that followed the police killing of Jacob Blake, a black man who was brandishing a knife and in the process of violating a restraining order when police arrived on scene.

He was initially indicted on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide, failure to comply with an emergency order from a local government, and possession of a dangerous weapon.”

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