New York – Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is calling upon California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to take immediate action to address a seemingly growing anti-Semitic trend among teens in La Quinta, California.
High school seniors have been engaging in a chase game called “Beat the Jew,” which involves a runner called “a Jew” being chased by “Nazis” in cars. As the popularity of the game grew, a Facebook page was created which outlined the rules of the game: “The objective for the Jew is to run down Hwy. 111 to a specified checkpoint before the Nazis can catch up to him, tackle him down and capture him.” The Facebook page, which had attracted 40 members, has since been shut down.
“I am absolutely appalled and sickened,” said Hikind upon learning about the game from Rabbi Shimon Posner, director of the Chabad of Rancho Mirage, California. “These high school seniors are allegedly the future of America. What does it say about us as a nation when tomorrow’s leaders aspire to become Nazis who hunt Jews?”
Local officials in California have not deemed this game a hate crime, stating that because all the students were willing participants, no criminal act was committed. Students who played “Beat the Jew” claimed that it was nothing more than a game, and was not about targeting Jews.
“History bears witness to the unspeakable atrocities which befall us when we fail to educate our youth about racism and anti-Semitism,” Hikind wrote to Governor Schwarzenegger. “I urge you to act in your official capacity to ensure that those who partook in this vile game are not only punished, but made to understand why their behavior is so particularly egregious.”
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