AG Garland: ‘No tolerance for illegal threats fueled by antisemitism’

Justice Department ramps up outreach to Jewish community amid rise in antisemitism after Oct. 7

Department of Justice

Attorney General Merrick Garland (second from left) and FBI Director Christopher Wray (third from left) meet with Jewish leaders last week in Washington, D.C.

As antisemitic incidents and violent threats continue to rise in the United States, the Department of Justice is doubling down on its efforts to protect Jewish communities, Attorney General Merrick Garland told Jewish Insider on Monday.

“The overwhelming rise in antisemitic threats has renewed a familiar sense of fear and isolation for the Jewish community,” Garland said. “But that familiarity does not make what is happening any less painful. We have no tolerance for illegal threats fueled by antisemitism or by hatred of any kind.”

In the month since Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. increased by 316% compared to the same period last year, according to data released Monday by the Anti-Defamation League. 

In that period, the Department of Justice has filed federal criminal charges against several Americans accused of making threats against the Jewish community, including a Cornell undergraduate who allegedly called for the death of Jewish students and pledged to “shoot up” the school’s kosher dining hall and a Nevada man who made violent threats against Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who is Jewish.

“No person and no community should have to live in fear of hate-fueled violence,” Garland told JI. “This Justice Department has no higher priority than protecting the safety and the civil rights of every person in our country.”

Garland’s comments come as the Justice Department ramps up its outreach to Jewish communal leaders. Garland, FBI Director Chris Wray and other top DOJ officials met last week in Washington with the leaders of prominent Jewish organizations across the religious spectrum. The Department of Justice and the FBI have also pledged additional resources and monitoring capabilities to religious organizations and to campus law enforcement, given the increase in antisemitism at universities. 

DOJ has also convened meetings in recent weeks with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian and Hindu leaders, citing a rise in threats against Muslim and Arab communities.

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