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US sees an uptick of anti-semitic crimes after Israel-Gaza conflict comes to an end

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Jews in many states across the US are reporting anti-semitic crimes following the cease-fire in Gaza and Israel. From states with small Jewish communities, to states that were previously thought to be Jewish sanctuaries, activists are vandalizing synagogues and attacking individuals all under the guise of pro-Palestine activism.

The Diamond District in New York saw violence in its streets Thursday. Groups of pro-Palestine protestors shouted at Jewish people while waving Palestinian flags was captured on video. An explosion was also captured by someone with a cell phone. Police confirmed later that an individual had shot a firework out of a car.

In California, a truck with Palestinian flags was captured on security footage chasing a Jewish man who was on foot Monday. He was likely targeted because this happened near a Los Angeles synagogue on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Rep. Mike Loychik (R-CA) brought attention to the issue of anti-semitic crime in LA on Twitter.

Synagogues in Illinois and Arizona were vandalized Thursday. In Skokie, Illinois, a pro-Palestine activists attached a “free Palestine” sign to the door. They also smashed several windows before they left. The attack was captured on security footage.

Tuscon, Arizona also saw its synagogue vandalized, but weren’t able to capture the culprits. Someone threw a rock through the glass door. State Rep. Alma Hernandez (R-03) brought attention to the attack by tweeting photos. Since, the synagogue has started a Go Fund Me to raise money to further secure the building.

It just so happened to be the synagogue of ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (R-AZ). She called the attack “disgusting,” but also wrote in a tweet “despite these actions, we will not be shaken. Hate has no place in Arizona.”

Rabbi Avremi Zippel discovered a swastika etched into the glass of his synagogue in Salt Lake City, Utah Monday. Zippel vowed, “We will not cower in fear.” He saw this as a direct result of the conflict in Jerusalem. “But tell me more how this is about a land dispute….” he tweeted.

Still, even as these attacks become several days old, there has been no comment from President Biden, who recently signed an anti-Asian and Pacific Islander hate crime law. Even some major news organizations have left it out.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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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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