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Ex-Patriots star Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, discusses ‘hurtful’ antisemitism: ‘Sad moment right now’

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Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, antisemitism and acts of hate against Jews have skyrocketed.

The Anti-Defamation League reported this week that recorded antisemitic incidents were up 120% in 2023 from the year prior (8,873 in total). Perhaps the most jarring was that there were 1,009 bomb threats against synagogues and other Jewish institutions last year versus 91 in 2022.

Prominent Jewish members of the sports community have been outspoken since Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists from Gaza crossed into Israel and killed some 1,200 people. Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph wore cleats that read, “I Stand With Israel,” and Auburn’s men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl has consistently spoken about the conflict.

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Julian Edelman before a game against the 49ers

Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots is seen before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Oct. 25, 2020. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, also showed his support during his playing days. On several occasions, he donned an Israeli flag, and shortly after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting of 2018, he wore specialized cleats that read the names of all the victims.

Edelman also invited ex-NBA player Meyers Leonard to a Shabbat dinner after the latter used a Jewish slur during a live stream.

With antisemitism increasing, Edelman said it’s a “sad moment right now, what the world is going through.”

Wide receiver Julian Edelman against the Raiders

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is seen before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Sept. 27, 2020. (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“The hate that is out there for Jews, for everyone. The antisemitism, it’s gnarly right now, and it’s pretty hurtful,” Edelman told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.

But he is thankful that he does not have it like those overseas.

“There’s a lot of hate going on in other places. War is terrible on so many levels. It’s a sad time, like I said. The one thankful thing you have is we’re not experiencing that here in our country. War is brutal, war is disgusting.”

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman (Lionel Hahn/Getty Images for Stagwell/File)

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Iran launched drones from its own territory toward Israel late Saturday, days after its supreme leader warned that it would hit back in response to an Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria that left several generals dead.

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