Richard Stark joins political voices condemning anti-Semitic attack
Richard Stark.

Richard Stark
Christians United for Israel also decried the possible hate crime.

The leader of the Florida Jewish Legislative Caucus decried anti-Semitism after a Hanukkah stabbing in New York.

“We condemn all acts of anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hatred. They are antithetical to American values,” said state Rep. Richard Stark, a Weston Democrat.

“The increase in attacks in Jewish communities represents attacks on all Americans alike. Let’s fight back with tolerance and respect for everyone.”

Prosecutors in Monday charged Grafton Thomas with five counts of attempted murder after he stormed a Hanukkah celebration with a machete and wounded five people, reports NBC News.

The attack has drawn widespread criticism nationwide from across the political spectrum.

Christians United For Israel released a lengthy statement that also criticized the attack and the rise of anti-Semitic violence.

The organization also noted a deadly attack in a New Jersey Jewish market earlier this month, which authorities told The Associated Press could have been motivated by hate. The two suspects in that shooting were killed by police, but not before three people in the market and one officer were also killed.

“In recent days and weeks, we’ve been horrified at the spate of attacks targeting our Jewish brothers and sisters in New York and New Jersey,” read a statement by Pastor John Hagee.

“These acts of terror are motivated by the dark and sinful evil of anti-Semitism. And they must be stopped. Christians United for Israel is now 8 million members strong. This is a humbling milestone, but one we do not celebrate. Rather, it is the unrelenting march of anti-Semitism upon which we are focused. There are 8 million American Christian Zionists committed to confronting indifference, combating anti-Semitism, and defending Israel, but that is not enough.”

Hagee has been active in Republican politics and endorsed President Donald Trump in 2016.

The Florida Legislature in February passed legislation condemning anti-Semitism in the wake of deadly shootings at synagogues in San Diego and Pittsburgh. That bill treats anti-Semitism in public colleges and universities the same as it does racism and other ethnic discrimination.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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