US Jewish community looks to defend itself as attacks rise | AFP

In the aftermath of two recent fatal shootings and a steady rise in anti-Semitic acts, American synagogues feel the need to protect themselves.

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Farrakhan says he doesn’t hate Jewish people

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan said Thursday despite assertions by Facebook when it banned him from its platform, he is not a hater of Jewish people, is not a misogynist, nor a homophobe. He spoke in a Chicago church on Thursday. (May 10)

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The Poway Synagogue Shooting Is Dividing The American Jewish Community (HBO)

Last Saturday, a 19 year-old white supremacist walked into a synagogue and started shooting.

On Monday, Laurie Gilbert-Kaye was laid to rest, as her family, and an entire community, looked on.

In some ways, this attack has inspired members of the Jewish community to come together as they mourn. But it also seems to be causing division, as people argue over who is to blame for the rise in antisemitism.

To liberals, much of the blame lies with President Trump’s wink-wink relationship with the alt-right. But for those on the right, especially in the largely conservative community of Poway, the left’s criticism of Israel is a big part of the problem.

One of the focal points of this debate has been Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has recently been accused of antisemitism for her remarks about Israel.

This quickly became a wider political debate outside of the Jewish community – a day after the shooting, members of Congress, including Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Chip Roy essentially blamed the attack on Omar.

But leftists have accused the right of using the tragedy as a way to silence critics of Israel.

VICE News visited Poway to hear more about how politics are affecting how a community deals with tragedy.

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Vigil in Poway for synagogue shooting victims

A vigil was held in Poway, California on Monday night for victims of Saturday’s deadly synagogue shooting. Jewish leaders joined leaders of other faiths to condemn hate and call for faith and unity. (April 30)

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