Shomrei Torah has beefed up security after three letters brimming with hate-filled rhetoric were delivered to the Jewish synagogue that is home to approximately 100 families.
David Abrams, president of the congregation, said the disturbing nature of the missives have caused the synagogue to install surveillance cameras and request increased police patrols.
“While there were no direct threats per se, the writer of these eight pages — front and back — pulled up every conspiracy theory in the popular media,” he said. “And of course, where such theories are concerned, Jews are often at the top of the list of groups that supposedly are involved in terrible deeds.”
In the mostly rambling diatribe, the writer insinuates that “the Rothschilds” are “evil scoundrels with trillions of dollars,” who advance “phony humanitarian causes like global warming.” The letters say the hijackers of the 9/11 planes are “still alive and well” and that “they will know when Iran is ready to strike and they will suddenly unveil that Israel was behind 9/11.”
Others were also mentioned in the harangue: the Illuminati, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Germany, the Mossad — Israel’s national intelligence agency — and Ron Howard, who is in the writer’s mind, connected with a Masonic ritual.
“The person who wrote these pages may indeed be disturbed,” said Abrams. “But the three letters were hand-delivered — two uncanceled stamps on each envelope. That means the person who put them in our mailbox had to have been on our premises. Some families have been concerned about dropping their children off for study at the synagogue.”
Abrams said along with an uptick in national antisemitism, the recent “KKK” spray-painting on several Leon County churches and a community building in Tallahassee have set his congregation on edge.
In March 2015 plastic bags filled with candy and trinkets that also included a recruitment flyer for the Ku Klux Klan were distributed at several north side locations. In January 2016, Shady Grove Primitive Baptist Church in Christ was hit with KKK graffiti. More flyers appeared in March, one of which was found in the parking lot of Shomrei Torah. And on Nov. 29, the letters KKK were spray-painted on the front of the Killearn Home Owners Association community building.
Noting that the first two letters were in the two months before the election and the last one just after, Abrams said they point to the current challenge in American life.
“The alt-right, the willingness of many to engage in derisive language against others, is something that we must have the resolute courage to speak out against.”
College campuses across the nation have also seen a rise in antisemitism. Eric Fingerhut in the Jewish Observer noted that “anti-Israel rhetoric has increased, and along with it harassment of Jewish students as well.” The Washington Post points out that from January until June 2016, 287 anti-Semitic events occurred, a 45-percent increase over the same six months of 2015.
Yet similar statistics do not appear to be the case in Tallahassee.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Marina Brown