'Jews are going to burn': Disbarred California lawyer charged for anti-Semitic threats in synagogue

On Wednesday, Berkeleyside reported that a disbarred lawyer in Northern California has been arrested and charged with hate crimes for making anti-Semitic threats in a Berkeley synagogue.

The Alameda County district attorney's office this week charged 37-year-old Anatoly Smolkin with hate crimes related to his actions at the synagogue.

"According to police, shortly after noon on Aug. 7, Smolkin ... entered Congregation Netivot Shalom, a synagogue at 1316 University Ave. (near Acton Street), and 'threatened physical harm by yelling 'call the police, Jews are going to pay for what you did to me'' and 'You are all going to burn, Jews are going to burn in hell," reported Berkeleyside.

Smolkin, a former San Francisco attorney, was disbarred after a criminal conviction stemming from his firing from a mobile games startup. He allegedly proceeded to threaten his former employers with physical harm, and to release naked pictures of their daughters, after which he was charged on 32 counts including "stalking, making criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and battery."

This year has seen a rise in anti-Semitic attacks and threats in the United States, some of them apparently driven by an outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians earlier this year.