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Andy Cohen gave an impassioned speech against anti-semitic hate after a historic Jewish cemetery was vandalized in St. Louis where his great-grandparents and other relatives are buried

By Dave Quinn
February 21, 2017 09:21 AM
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Bravo host Andy Cohen gave an impassioned speech against anti-semitic hate on his show Monday after more than 100 headstones were vandalized at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri — a historic Jewish cemetery where his great-grandparents and other relatives are buried.

On Monday night’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the 48-year-old St. Louis native revealed his “extremely personal” connection to the headline-grabbing attacks, saying, “We cannot allow acts of hate against anyone to become normal. We have got to do better as a country.”

His plea for tolerance comes as a wave of bomb threats have been reported to Jewish community centers nationwide — threats which President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who is a convert to Judaism, spoke out about on Twitter Monday.

“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance,” she tweeted. “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC”

The FBI said Monday that federal authorities and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division were investigating bomb threats at 10 Jewish community centers — in Alabama, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas and New York, NBC News reported.

In a statement, the bureau said that no one was injured — which authorities said appeared to be hoaxes.

In January, bomb threats targeted 53 Jewish community centers across 26 states and one Canadian province, NBC News reported.

“Please catch the hateful, evil people who did this,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri wrote on Twitter. “This is not normal. Or acceptable. This is not what America stands for.”

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Cohen referenced the wave of hate during the close of his show.

“We are not even two months into 2017 and already there have been 69 reported bomb threats to JCCs in 27 states, a synagogue was defaced, swastikas have been drawn on the subway here in New York City, and now this. This does not feel like a coincidence,” he said.

“I don’t have to have a personal connection there to know that this is not who we are as Americans and this is certainly should not be where we are heading,” Cohen added.

The White House denounced the threats on Monday, CNN reported, citing deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters. “Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” she said. “The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”