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January 10, 2012 3:55 pm

New York Leaders Stand Tall Against Recent Anti-Semitic Incidents

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Manhattan Borough Pres. Scott Stringer. Photo: Thomas Good.

In midtown Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined community leaders to bring attention to a wave of anti-Semitic acts of vandalism and assaults.  Multiple swastikas have allegedly been scrawled on Midtown storefronts, in addition to anti-Semitic graffiti, vandalism, defacement of property, assault and hateful messages sent to a Jewish seminary. In total , nine incidents have recently been reported.

The Borough President was joined by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik of the NY Board of Rabbis, Ron Meier of the Anti-Defamation League, Michael Landau, the Chairman of the West Side Council of Jewish Organizations, Shira Loewenberg of AJC New York, and Rabbi Abe Friedman, a Law Enforcement Chaplain.

Saying “this appalling incident is not isolated,” Stringer continued “anti-Semitic hate crimes have been spreading like cancer throughout the five boroughs. According to news reports, the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is actively investigating this incident and we are grateful for their efforts. But New York City must send a clear message to perpetrators – hate crimes have no place in our boroughs.” He stressed that “this kind of outrageous attack…doesn’t just harm the Jewish community – it is an attack on all of us,”

Multiple incidents of anti-Semitic attacks have taken place over the last four months in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Stringer urged the NYPD to release hate crimes statistics.  “If in fact we are seeing a spike in hate crimes, we need the tools to combat it. I look forward to working with the NYPD ensure we combat this trend as aggressively as possible.”

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“This ongoing escalation in anti-Semitic hate crimes must be vigorously denounced and investigated with the full force of our law enforcement,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler.  “All anti-Semitism and bigotry targeting Jews or others is anathema to our society and totally unacceptable.”

” Make no mistake,” said Assemblyman Daniel Squadron.” it’s a threat against New York and what this city stands for.”

“As we approach our annual commemoration of the memory and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we cannot be silent in the face of atrocity,” said Council Member Inez E. Dickens. “This is atrocity.  I applaud Borough President Stringer for his swift action in speaking out against defamation of any kind.”

Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh joined the political and community leaders.   “We are outraged and dismayed by these despicable anti-Semitic incidents,” said Ron Meier of The Anti Defamation League (ADL).

Said Rabbi Joseph Potasnik of the New York Board of Rabbis. “It may begin with Jews as victims but it does not stop there. Thus, all of us must stand together and speak with one voice against those who do not respect the human family.” “Sadly, we have learned that hate has no boundaries. It is important that hate crimes not be seen as only a matter for law enforcement to investigate, but also for all New Yorkers of goodwill to condemn.”

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