Sunday, January 29, 2012

COMMENTARY: Anti-Semitism in Our Society Must Not Be Tolerated

A 19-year-old man in New Jersey was arrested last week and charged with two firebombings of New Jersey synagogues.

Anthony Graziano is being held on $5 million bail and could receive a sentence of up to 95 years in prison, if he is found guilty of the charges filed against him.

What is extremely frightening of the firebombing of the Rutherford, N.J. synagogue is that this synagogue also served as the rabbi's residence on the second floor. The rabbi, his wife, five children, and the rabbi's parents -- a total of nine people -- were sleeping when several Molotov cocktails were thrown into the synagogue in the early morning of January 11.

Fortunately, the rabbi was able to put out a firebomb in his bedroom -- suffering only minor burns in doing so -- thus preventing the death of several people.

The suspect of the firebombings has been described by police as a bitter anti-Semite who hates people of the Jewish faith.

Just what causes an individual to be so hateful and hurtful toward Jews -- especially when Jews have done no harm to that person -- is mind-boggling.

We can only attribute such sinful behavior by a 19-year-old man to be the result of a prejudicial upbringing by his parents, or a hateful view of Jews by his peer group.

In any event, this kind of destructive behavior against Jews -- or any group for that matter -- must not be tolerated in our society.

Indeed, anyone who is convicted of committing such a hateful and destructive crime must be sentenced to several years in prison.