Vice President speaks out against anti-Semitic acts of violence

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Vice President Mike Pence condemned acts of violence targeting the Jewish community, Wednesday.

More than 170 headstones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery outside St. Louis, Missouri overnight Monday.

“There’s no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-semitism,” Vice President Pence said. “I must tell you, the people of Missouri are inspiring the nation by your love and care and I want to thank you.”

The act of vandalism comes after a wave of phoned in bomb threats — all hoaxes — hit Jewish community centers across the U.S. and Canada — 68 since the beginning of the year, according to the JCC Association of North America.

A JCC in Kendall was also threatened with a non-existent bomb in January. A Jewish neighborhood in Boca Raton was shaken up after discovering a swastika spray painted on a car earlier this month.

In scripted remarks at the National African American Museum of History and Culture, Tuesday, President Donald Trump said there is no place for such hate.

“The anti-semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” said President Trump.

On Wednesday, the University of Miami hosted a conversation with a Holocaust survivor and witness to the Syrian Civil War.

Rabbi Jeremy Barras says it was great to see the Vice President at the cemetery, but current events show why nights like these are so important.

“There is always hatred. Sometimes it’s active, sometimes it’s dormant,” Barras said. “A lot of the hatred and xenophobia, — not just for Jews, but for a variety of people in this country — isn’t laying dormant anymore.”

The keynote speaker, Holocaust survivor Alfred Munzer, offered his own thoughts.

“When my mother and I finally immigrated to the United States, we thought we were going to be safe, and to suddenly be confronted with headlines that Jewish community centers are being threatened over and over again is incredibly frightening and disheartening,” Munzer said.

Authorities are investigating the vandalisms and bomb threats.

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