Thursday morning, Helen Rosenzweig eyes teared up as she viewed the damage to the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia. She was looking over photos of the damage and tearfully asked, “How could this be happening again?” ”What do you mean?”, she was asked. “You understand this is how it started 60 years ago, how could it happen again?” Mrs. Rosenzweig and many other people of the Jewish faith are asking that same question over and over again as acts of anti-Semitism have increased in the United States.
In Tuesday’s address to the nation, President Trump stated, “Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.” Many believe it was a statement that need is headed in the right direction but like Rosenzweig, they believe that President Trump needs to disavow those who are part of the alt-right that run news sites such as Breitbart and VDare who have endorsed the President.
Wednesday, attorney generals from across the country met with President Trump at the White House and met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asked the president about the recent vandalizing of Jewish cemeteries and the more than 100 bomb threats that have been made across the country against Jewish Communities Centers. According to Shapiro, Trump said, “Sometimes it’s the reverse,” Shapiro recounted. “‘[It’s] to make people or make others look bad.’ He used ‘reverse’ two to three times in his comments.” When Shapiro asked for clarification, the president repeated two more times it could be the reverse to make others look bad. In other words, Jewish citizens could be doing it themselves to make the administration look bad.
This statement was made only hours before Trump’s speech to the nation. Mrs, Rosenzweig asked, “Which one of Trump’s statements should I believe? The one when he said we must condemn these actions or the one where we are doing this to ourselves. It is disgusting.” When told that alt-right websites like the Neo-Nazi Website, the Daily Stormer, had stated words very similar to what the president said only hours before when Shapiro spoke to the president. The publisher of the Daily Stormer stated, “When I see these bomb threats, I just assume it is Jews doing it. You see how it fits right into their narrative of victimhood under Trump.” Rosenzweig stared at the computer screen and said, “Sickening.”
When asked again what she thought the president needs to better to stop the increase of anti-Semantic acts, Mrs. Rosenzweig said, “Well for one, stop saying things that appeared to mimic disgusting websites like this Stormer site. President Trump needs to understand what is really going on in the world and this country. Being Jewish I feel unsafe right now. I was at the JCC in Wynnewood the other day and we were made to leave because of a bomb threat. President Trump needs the FBI to really investigate what is going on.”
Agnes Bedard calls herself a daughter of the 60's. She stills believe that one voice can lead us out of darkness, that one person can start a change, and that one act of kindness can change one person's world. Politics is how the world works to change and that is why she is so passionate about it. As Agnes said we need to fight for our f.uture. Agnes Bedard is also the author of "Before I was Me" Bedard is also a wife, mother and grandmother