TEL AVIV – Head of the Israeli opposition Isaac Herzog on Monday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to set up an “emergency national program” in preparation for “waves” of Jewish immigration as a result of an ongoing upsurge of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and France.
“I wish to express my shock and vociferous condemnation of the outbreak of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, France and other places around the world,” Herzog said at a weekly Zionist Union party meeting.
“I call on the government to urgently prepare and establish and emergency national program for the possibility that we will see waves of our Jewish brothers immigrating to Israel,” Herzog said.
His remarks came a day after a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia was desecrated, but before the latest bomb threats were made to Jewish institutions across the U.S.
Last week, vandals toppled 150 graveyards at another cemetery in St. Louis.
“I am sure that the U.S. government will do all it can to put an end to this phenomenon with all its might,” he said.
Despite media reports suggesting otherwise, the Times of Israel reported that there is insufficient up-to-date data to support the theory that anti-Semitism in the U.S. has been on the rise since the election of President Donald Trump. There is also little evidence to support the notion that these attacks will trigger a wave of mass immigration to Israel, the report said.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president was “deeply disappointed and concerned” about the anti-Semitic incidents.
“The president continues to condemn these and any other form of antisemitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” he said at a White House press briefing. “No one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly. The president is dedicated to preserving this originating principle of our nation.”
Following the vandalism at the Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Trump said the antisemitism was “horrible” and “has to stop.”
“The antisemitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are a painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”