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Saperstein: "These senseless and targeted incidents are a jarring and all-too-real reminder that the ugly blight of anti-Semitism still thrives."
Contact: Kate Bigam or Arielle Gingold
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2009 _ In response to the recent attack on a Jewish center in Venezuela and the recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred worldwide, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are both saddened and infuriated by the recent attack on a Jewish center in Caracas, Venezuela, where a pipe bomb caused structural damage. The attack was the second of its kind in Venezuela this year and just one of many in a recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the world.
This year alone, accounts from United States, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany and more report that Jews have been assaulted both physically and verbally, their homes and synagogues vandalized and desecrated. Just this week, a preliminary report taken of all 19 countries in the European Union reported that anti-Semitic attacks in Europe ranging from vandalism from violence are on the rise since the start of Israel's military action in Gaza. As we go through our day-to-day lives, it is often easy to feel as though hatred against Jews has been eliminated; these senseless and targeted incidents are a jarring and all-too-real reminder that the ugly blight of anti-Semitism still thrives.
We call upon all nations and governments to condemn acts of anti-Semitism worldwide and to prosecute vigorously those responsible for committing such acts. Furthermore, we encourage governments and international organizations to do everything within their power to educate the public about the harms of anti-Semitism and to promote true respect and understanding of all nationalities, faiths, religious groups and ethnicities.