Arizona Sheriffs Take A Stand For Israel

December 26, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona sheriffs are standing with the State of Israel and members of the Jewish community in the United States.

Last week, leaders from the Arizona Sheriff’s Association sent an open letter to communicate their support for members of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.

The letter, signed by Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes and Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse, stated that they “stand against the recent spate of antisemitic criminal acts,” adding their commitment “to defend the places of worship Jews frequent and investigate any threats against members of the Jewish community.”

In their letter, Rhodes and Clouse wrote that they sit in daily horror due to the “senseless violence of the terrorist organization Hamas on the citizens of Israel – Jews and non-Jews alike.” They asserted that “the war in Israel and Gaza has given rise to crimes targeting Jews across the United States,” and declared that “antisemitic attacks won’t be tolerated here in Arizona.”

The sheriffs also said that “Israel’s right to defend itself isn’t up for debate.” They expressed hope that the world would “see a safer Middle East where Israel and its neighbors live in peace and prosperity” after the conclusion of the ongoing war.

As they closed their letter, the two Arizona officials encouraged “all law enforcement across the country” to “rise to the moment to support Jewish communities targeted by people looking to commit evil acts based on religious hatred.”

Antisemitism has seen an increase in the United States – even before the noticeable crescendo of actions and rhetoric after the October 7th terrorist attacks in Israel. According to a report from the Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Anti-Defamation League, there was “a sharp rise in the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States and other countries” in 2022. The United States was credited with 3,697 of these incidents, compared to 2,717 in 2021 – over a thirty-five percent increase year-over-year.

However, since the October 7th massacre, the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States has grown exponentially. The Anti-Defamation League “recorded a total of 2,031 antisemitic incidents between October 7 and December 7, up from 465 incidents during the same period in 2022, representing a 337-percent increase year-over-year.”

Earlier this month, the Prescott City Council unanimously adopted a resolution that, in part, “called upon Prescott law enforcement to remain vigilant in protecting Israeli Americans, Jewish Americans and all supporters of Israel from acts of crime and unlawful discrimination that tend to manifest at such times.” This action followed an earlier resolution from the Arizona State Legislature’s Republican leaders, who “called on Arizona’s officials in the Executive branch to hold accountable any individuals who engage in any acts of terrorism supporting Hamas,” prohibited by state laws.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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