Jewish Couple in Bloody Beverly Hills Attack Says Antisemitism is at its Worst

( – Rebecca Nissel, 70, described her utter shock after an attacker targeted her and her husband, Raphael Nissel, 75, as they walked to a local Beverly Hills, California, Synagogue. The two have lived in the area since 1974. “[A]ll these years we’ve lived so beautifully here […] and all of a sudden it changed” because of race and an increasing level of antisemitism.

On Tuesday, December 12, the Nissels discussed their experience with Fox host Todd Piro on “Fox and Friends First.” Raphael said they were strolling toward the synagogue on Saturday, December 9, when a man ran up behind them and lashed him across the head with a heavy belt buckle before demanding of Rebecca, “Give me your earrings, Jew!”

Raphael told CNN the sudden awareness that someone might attack them because of their religion “enraged” him. He wanted to fight back. “I wanted to tackle him somehow,” he said. However, the assailant had already turned and started to run away. As her husband tried to follow the suspect, Rebecca notified police in the civic center adjacent to where the incident occurred.

Officers reported finding Raphael with a head laceration and provided treatment at the scene according to the Nissels’ wishes. Officers noted that Raphael was wearing his yarmulke at the time of the attack. Another policeman spotted and arrested the suspect, Jarris Jay Silagi, 44.

Authorities have charged Silagi with elder abuse, attempted second-degree robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and two felony counts of battery with serious bodily injury. A judge has ordered a competency hearing to determine whether Silagi can participate in his own defense and stand trial.

In their discussion, Piro asked Rebecca whether she had ever seen antisemitism as rampant as it was at that point. She said no, but she also said the sentiment began growing, perhaps during the pandemic, and her level of safety and security concerning her day-to-day world began deteriorating. “I started to stash away my jewelry into safes,” she explained.

Yet she also cited a figure from an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report issued on Monday, December 11 — from October 7 through December 7, occurrences of antisemitic incidents have increased year-on-year by 337%. Although the Nissels are physically recovering from the incident, they argue people could do more to combat the growing hate by educating themselves instead of listening to hateful rhetoric.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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