By COLlive reporter
Photos by Itzik Roytman
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned about the rise of anti-Semitism in the world in his address to the 2019 AIPAC conference in Washington, DC, on Monday.
“I am deeply worried about an old threat that is re-emerging to Israel and Jews all around the world: the threat of anti-Semitism,” he said.
“It’s a cancer metastasizing in the Middle East, in Europe, and indeed, sadly, here in the United States as well,” he said, pointing out that hate crimes against Jews in the U.S. have risen by one-third since 2017.
Pompeo then said: “We don’t have to go far, but to consider attacks on the Orthodox Jewish community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn over the past year.”
He was referring to the string of verbal and physical attacks against Jews of all ages in the streets of Crown Heights that has alarmed the local Jewish community in recent months, as reported on COLlive.com.
“Every decent human being has the responsibility to fight anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said. “It’s an affront to religious liberty. It denies the rights of Jews to worship their G-d. It attacks what it means to be Jewish, ethnically and religiously.
“But Americans have a special responsibility to combat this scourge because religious freedom sits at the core of our founding. It’s in our Bill of Rights as the very first freedom. It’s the essential freedom upon which all others that we enjoy here in America are built.”
Joining the three-day conference were a dozen or so Chabad Shluchim from around the United States flanked by community members. The conference is the largest pro-Israel policy gathering in North America.
Speaking on Monday were Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
“As a progressive, as a Democrat, as an American, I am here to say we must never, ever ask the Jewish people to defend their lives alone,” De Blasio stated.
“I’ve been called to neighborhoods whose menorahs were smashed. I’ve spoken at shuls defaced with swastikas, I sat with a mother whose son was attacked just for wearing a kippah. I know that anti-Semitism is dangerous and I know it leads to violence, and that reinforces my commitment to the survival and the security of the State of Israel.”