Jewish community responds to suspected hate crime in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky, (WTVQ) – A sense of calm in the Middle East after a cease fire between Israel and Hamas….but in the United States reports of Jewish hate crimes are on the rise.

Here in Lexington…on Saturday night…advocates rallied together to stand up for those who were killed in Palestine and to encourage peace.

“For us it’s about letting people know that we won’t stand silent in the face of injustice we are going to make our voices heard and we do not stand by the violence and murder of innocent civilians” said Hannah Isa.

But, following the rally, Rabbi-Shlomo Litvin, Director of Chabad of the Bluegrass says the Jewish community was threatened.

“Two cars were driving around one in particular flying the PLO’s flag, as they yelled at Jews on the sidewalk who were recognizable either by wearing a Jewish star or a Yamaka or anything like that. Yelling we should run you over, curse words at Jewish people together with the word Jew” said Rabbi Shlomo-Litvin.

He says he was disgusted…but not surprised there was another Anti-Semitic act in Lexington.

“It’s everywhere and it’s something we need to face together as a society.”

The Jewish Community released the following response to Saturday’s incident.

“We are deeply pained by the hateful act that took place in downtown Lexington following a protest yesterday evening when Jewish pedestrians were accosted by threats of violence and words of hate. The community’s thoughts and prayers are with those who were attacked, and we stand ready to provide them any support they need.

While we are shaken by everything that has happened, we are very grateful to the Lexington Police Dept for their response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investigation. Let us gain courage from the age-old Jewish adage “a little bit of light will dispel a great deal of darkness”, and add in deeds of goodness and kindness.

Such hatred has nothing to do with politics, or foreign affairs, and is rooted in antisemitism and Jew-hatred. Such despicable acts must be condemned by every segment of our society. 

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the foremost Jewish leader of the modern era whose teachings and vision inspired the establishment of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Center, emphasized that the world in which we live in is not a jungle, where brute force, cunning, and unbridled passion reign; there is a Supreme Being who takes a “personal interest” in the affairs of each and every individual, and everyone is accountable for their actions.”

Rabbi-Shlomo Litvin says those in the Jewish community and every community need to feel safe in their own city.

“We need to make sure that every segment of our society, every segment of our community is protected” said Rabbi Shlomo Litvin.

An event in response to the incident is in the works for the coming days…but for now Rabbi Litvin says he’s focused on working with those who were affected on Saturday.

“By every single hate statistic in the book, if one incident is not answered more incidents will happen” added Rabbi-Shlomo Litvin.

He hoping for justice before another incident happens.

Lexington PD was contacted about the incident and is working with Rabbi Litvin.

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