This last Thursday morning at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue, in North Hollywood, a gunman opened fire and shot two people in the legs. The shooting happened at about 6:20 am, around the time of morning prayers, and the two casualties were both men in their thirties. This attack happened just 10 miles away from a Jewish Community Center which was the scene of another shooting in 1999. The Israeli consulate in Los Angeles said that the shooter was an African American male wearing a hooded sweatshirt. The man was seen earlier having an argument with two Jews in the synagogue’s parking lot.
Meanwhile, in related news, a U.S. jury indicted James Von Brunn on Wednesday, an 89 year old, World War II veteran, white supremacist, who opened fire inside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
Brunn killed a museum guard named Stephen T. Johns, before he was shot in the face (thereby incurring wounds from which he survived). He was indicted on seven counts of first-degree murder and could face the death penalty.
The last time such violence against Jews happened on American turf was in 2006, when a mentally ill gunman burst into a Seattle Jewish center, killing one woman and wounding five others; this attack coincided with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
While these incidents are indeed very frightening, the Anti-Defamation League conducted a phone survey last week â€“ the results of which expressed that anti-Semitism in America is at a historic low, with only 12% of Americans openly prejudiced toward Jewish people. The level of anti-Semitism measured in this survey matches that of the same survey taken in 1998, and is the lowest in the 45-year history of this particular poll. The first time that the survey was conducted in 1964, 29% of Americans were said to have “held anti-Semetic views”.
The poll was taken between Sept. 26 and Oct. 4 and consisted of 1,200 adult participants. It further showed men were more likely to be anti-Semitic than women, and that African Americans had higher tendencies to be anti-Jewish than any other ethnic group in the population.