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December 31, 2019 10:22 am

Orthodox Jewish Lawmakers Urge Gov. Cuomo to Declare State of Emergency Amid Spate of Antisemitic Attacks

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The crowd at a New York City rally against antisemitism on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack. – Four Orthodox Jewish politicians representing New York City signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to declare a state of emergency and to deploy the New York National Guard and New York State Police to “visibly patrol and protect Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods throughout the state.”

The letter, signed by New York State Sen. Simcha Felder, New York Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and New York City Councilmen Chaim Deutsch and Kalman Yeger, also requests that a special prosecutor be assigned to investigate and litigate those who commit antisemitic violence.

It also asks that those cases currently under the jurisdiction of local district attorneys be transferred to the special prosecutor.

According to the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Reports, the first three quarters of 2019 found that of the nearly 320 bias complaints, more than 160 were anti-Jewish. And in just the last week of December, the Anti-Defamation League reported 10 attacks in the New York metropolitan area.

“Simply stated, it is no longer safe to be identifiably Orthodox in the State of New York. We cannot shop, walk down a street, send our children to school or even worship in peace,” said the letter, dated on Dec. 29 and sent in the wake of a stabbing attack that injured five people in Monsey, NY.

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