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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Midwesterners Have Pivotal Role in Countering Antisemitism

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Friday, June 2, 2023   

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America.

Nearly two-thirds of all religiously motivated hate crimes in the U.S. last year were against Jews.

The plan to push back is called the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.

Sarah Van Loon, Midwest regional director for the American Jewish Committee, said sadly, the behavior has become more normalized.

"The hatred will come from the far left, from the far right and from religious extremists," Van Loon pointed out. "It's incumbent upon all of us to take up that stand. And by starting with antisemitism, I personally believe we're going to start to see the disillusion, if you will, of some of the polarization that's been plaguing America over the last several years."

Van Loon said the strategy to fight back includes four goals: increasing awareness and understanding, improving safety and security for Jewish communities, reversing the normalization of antisemitism and building "cross-community" solidarity to counter hate.

The Anti-Defamation League reports nearly 300 incidents against Jews in the Midwest, a staggering 114% increase from just a few years ago. Van Loon noted tech companies and social media have been asked to establish "zero tolerance" policies against hate directed at Jews.

"Following their own terms and community standards for one but also ensuring that their algorithms are not promoting content that suggests violence and hate," Van Loon explained. "That is one huge way that we can take a major stance against antisemitism and see real meaningful progress."

Van Loon hopes regardless of who is in the White House, combating antisemitism does not become a partisan issue. She added it is incumbent upon all voters to ensure their voices are heard.


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