Attorney General Barr: “Zero Tolerance for Anti-Semitism”
ATTORNEY GENERAL William Barr, who is of half-Jewish ancestry, ordered federal prosecutors across the U.S. to step up their efforts to combat “anti-Semitic hate crimes” as he met with Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday. Barr even suggested that a recent “case” of a woman slapping a Jew in New York City deserved federal involvement and the personal attention of the Attorney General of the United States. Barr said the Trump administration would have “zero tolerance for this kind of violence.”
Barr directed U.S. attorneys’ offices to ensure they have a specific point of contact to handle outreach to the Jewish community and someone responsible for reporting “hate crimes.” He said he was also working with FBI Director Christopher Wray to create a “national plan to combat anti-Semitic violence,” and he announced federal charges in Brooklyn against a woman who allegedly had slapped three Jewish women.
Allen Fagin, executive vice president at the Orthodox Union, one of the Jewish groups present, said that Barr offered Jews “not only a recognition of the problem and a resolve to bring the resources of the federal government to bear — but the very fact that he came to Brooklyn to do that and brought with him senior representatives of local law enforcement, I think conveyed a very powerful message.”
“I cannot tell you how much it means to us when you say our federal government will have zero tolerance towards hate,” Rabbi David Niederman told the attorney general.
To make it clear that the federal government would act immediately in response to Jewish demands, Barr announced federal charges against 30-year-old Tiffany Harris, who made headlines in New York City after she was accused of slapping three Jews.
“This will not be an isolated case,” Barr told the leaders of the powerful Jewish groups. “We will move aggressively if we see this kind of activity.”
Rich Donoghue, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, said the charges had been under seal for several weeks and pointed to the case as an example of the federal government’s eagerness to criminally prosecute even small local cases of supposed “anti-Semitism” if the response of local authorities is deemed insufficient by Jewish groups, with whom the Justice Department will remain in constant contact. “We are going to respond if we feel that the laws that they are putting in place do not sufficiently address the local needs,” Donoghue said.
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Source: wire service reports and National Vanguard correspondents