Opposition Leader Herzog: Israel Must Prepare to Take in U.S. Jews Fleeing anti-Semitism

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Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog at the Knesset, January 16, 2017.
Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog at the Knesset, January 16, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) expressed outrage on Tuesday over the wave of anti-Semitic incidents and threats in the United States and said Israel should be preparing for the worst - a wave of Diaspora Jews fleeing to the Jewish state.

"I call on the government to urgently prepare and draw up a national emergency plan for the possibility of waves of immigration of our Jewish brothers to Israel,” Herzog said at a meeting of his Zionist Union Knesset faction, where he expressed shock and strongly condemned the outbreak of anti-Semitism in the United States, France and other places in the world.

Herzog however said at the same time that he was “convinced that the American government would do everything it can to harshly and aggressively eradicate this phenomenon.”

Herzog made the statement in the wake of a disturbing uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, most recently the toppling of hundreds of headstones in the Mt. Carmel Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, which came on the heels of a similar occurrence in St. Louis.

On the same day Herzog made his statement, a fifth wave of bomb threats aimed at Jewish schools and Jewish community centers since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The governing coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reacted cautiously to the incidents, largely remaining silent until Sunday, when the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "the Philadelphia Jewish cemetery desecration is shocking and a source of worry” adding that, “Evil and hatred must be stopped. Now."

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