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Pro-Palestinian activist raises $125,000 for vandalised Jewish cemetery

31st Mar 2017
Pro-Palestinian activist raises $125,000 for vandalised Jewish cemetery

Palestinian-Amerian activist Linda Sarsour, 37, campaigned to raise money to help repair a Missouri Jewish cemetery vandalised last month (Photo: Twitter)

Harun Nasrullah

A prominent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel supporter launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money to help repair a Missouri Jewish cemetery vandalised last month.

Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, 37, who played an important role in organising the Women’s March in Washington following US President, Donald Trump’s inauguration, started the fundraising campaign with activist Tarek El-Messidi to raise $20,000 (£16,300) for repairs for the 170 gravestones toppled and destroyed over the weekend of February 18 and 19.

As of March 1, the crowdfunding effort had raised over $125,000, (£102,000) well over Sarsour and El-Messidi’s intended target for the cemetery in the St Louis-area.

They said any remaining funds after the cemetery is restored would go toward repairs to other vandalised Jewish centres.

“Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America,” the activists wrote.

“We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

Other Muslim Americans have offered support to American Jews amid a rising tide of anti-Semitic incidents in the US, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who offered “a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who threatened to bomb at least 10 Jewish community centres around the nation on the President’s Day holiday.”

CAIR, National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, said, “It is the duty of American Muslims to offer support to the Jewish community and any minority group targeted in the recent spike in hate crimes nationwide,” he said. “We hope this reward will aid in the swift apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators.”

At least 10 Jewish community centres nationwide were reported to have received bomb threats in the fourth wave of such incidents in a month.

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