New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell has made it clear that he sides with Israel in the ongoing war that followed a Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023 that the Israeli government has referred to as an act of terrorism.

Mitchell recently told WBSM's Chris McCarthy the Hamas attack "can't be defended."

"The level of violence is just hard to wrap your head around," Mitchell said, calling it "the greatest attack against Jews since the end of the second World War."

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A Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on the Rockdale Avenue side of Buttonwood Park near Hawthorn Street in May 1998.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Claire T. Carney Library website says the monument "was the dream of Abraham Landau, the Holocaust survivor who survived 13 concentration and labor camps."

Landau and his wife Frieda lived in New Bedford from 1950 until he died in 2000.

Bryan Booker/Townsquare Media
Bryan Booker/Townsquare Media

Mayor Mitchell said he spoke with Rabbi Rafael Kanter of Tifereth of Israel Synagogue in New Bedford about the violence in the Middle East.

"The U.S. has stood strong with Israel and should continue to do that," Mitchell said.

"The Jewish population in the U.S. has gravitated towards major metros," he said. As such, cities like New Bedford "don't have as large a Jewish population as we used to," Mitchell said, but added "we still have a substantial number."

Mitchell said he has "lots of close friends who are Jewish," but adds whether or not you are Jewish or have Jewish friends, "what Hamas did was beyond the pale" and "indefensible."

Tiverton Event Offers Holocaust Survival Stories After Restaurant's Anti-Semitic Controversy

The Tiverton Public Library hosted a special event featuring stories of survivors of the Holocaust in the wake of a restaurant in town sharing an anti-Semitic meme last month to its Facebook page.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

Missing Children of Massachusetts

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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