Just as we developed robust mechanisms to track and hinder foreign terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, we need the same type of response today to address white-supremacist extremists and neo-Nazis.
White supremacists are on the march — and this reality is increasingly recognized by law enforcement.
Still, close to a year after the attack in Pittsburgh, there’s much more we can do to address the threat.
The federal government — and law enforcement specifically — currently lacks the authority and proper tools to address domestic foreign terrorist organizations in the ways that it has effectively fought against foreign terrorist organizations.
Lastly, religious communities must act more decisively.
Most religious facilities are designed to be welcoming, open places where the faithful gather. In the Jewish community, we are taught to welcome the stranger. This can become a vulnerability. We must now balance policies that welcome the stranger with the concern of ensuring that the stranger does not mean us harm.
One would think that after Pittsburgh, Poway and Halle, religious groups would be doing all they could to protect their places of worship. There have been improvements, but not enough.
These moves are encouraging, but they’re only a start.
We cannot allow the fear of violence and the reality of hatred dissuade us from practicing our religion. This means we need to empower our community, and provide law enforcement with the tools and authority they need to foil white-supremacist violence.
One year ago, 11 lives were lost thanks to white supremacist-fueled hate. The government and religious communities everywhere must work harder to ensure we’re doing everything we can to monitor and stop white supremacists before they can strike again.