[Racism & Antisemitism]
Governor Cuomo: “New York will continue to light the way for hope and acceptance, especially in the darkest of times, and we will be more united than ever before.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Racism and religious intolerance have been steadily on the rise since Donald Trump and his “very fine people,” like Stephen Miller, entered the White House.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Sunday issued a joint statement with over 130 faith leaders–including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Dr. A.R. Bernard, and Dr. Calvin Butts–from across the state condemning anti-Semitism in wake of an attack that took place during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey last night.

Today, civil rights leaders are meeting at the National Action Network, with Rev. Al Sharpton, to discuss the recent spate of attacks.

Saturday night’s mass stabbing is the latest in a disturbing rash of anti-Semitic attacks throughout the state during the Hanukkah holiday.

“Anti-Semitism, bigotry and hate of any kind are repugnant to our values and will not be tolerated in our state,” said Cuomo. “We condemn this attack and all attacks against members of the Jewish community in New York — an attack against one of us is an attack against all of us. Together we will continue fighting hate and intolerance with love and inclusion.”

Governor Cuomo had issued an earlier statement regarding the Friday attack saying, “I am completely disgusted to learn of the attack on three members of our Jewish community in Brooklyn on Friday – the 6th anti-Semitic incident in New York City just this week. This recent spate of hate-fueled crimes is even more disturbing as they occurred during the Hanukkah holiday, a time when Jewish New Yorkers gather to celebrate.

“The cowards responsible for these despicable attacks are trying to inject fear into our Jewish communities, but New Yorkers will always band together and categorically reject anti-Semitism whenever it rears its ugly head. New York will continue to light the way for hope and acceptance, especially in the darkest of times, and we will be more united than ever before.”

Several congressional leaders have released statements condemning the rise of racism and religious intolerance including California Congresswoman Maxine Waters and California Rep. Karen Bass.

“I’m saddened and pained by the anti-Semitic attack on the Jewish community in Monsey, New York on the seventh day of Hanukkah, a sacred period of rededication, joy, and light,” said Waters. “The recent violent attacks in New York and New Jersey, and the escalating extremist violence targeting places of worship and religious communities across the country must be stopped. I extend my sincere condolences to the victims and their families. Our resolve as a country must be to stand together in unity and tolerance during such a difficult time.”

“Yesterday’s shocking attack inside a rabbi’s home on the seventh night of Hanukkah is heartbreaking and enraging,” said Bass. “This follows a week of anti-Semitic acts and attacks on the Jewish community in New York, which have included physical intimidation, physical abuse and public harassment. Those that perpetrate these acts of hatred must be found, confronted and brought to immediate justice. Those who devise, promote and spread these ideologies must be stopped as well. This is not just a task for New York law enforcement or the New York community. This is a task for all of us. These attacks are on the rise throughout the country. My thoughts are with the Jewish community during this difficult time, as we come together as one to rebuke this hatred, completely and fully.”

The Leadership of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, made up of Co-chairs Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Will Hurd (R-TX), John Lewis (D-GA), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), also issued this group statement following the attack on Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home in Monsey, New York:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the anti-Semitic attack in Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home in Monsey, New York, during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. This surge in anti-Semitic attacks is a disturbing trend both here in the United States and abroad. We cannot tolerate these discriminatory, hateful, and cowardly acts. We stand with the victims in Monsey, their families, and the entire Jewish community who have been victims of violent attacks during Hanukkah, a holiday that celebrates religious freedom. Every individual in this country deserves to feel safe and worship without fear. It is this commitment to diversity that has made the United States a beacon of hope and a place of sanctuary for people around the world. The Caucus will continue to stand united in fighting for liberty and justice for all.”

In another attack Sunday in White Settlement, Texas, a gunman killed two inside the West Freeway Church of Christ before he was killed by armed church security. It has been reported that one of the victims, 64-year-old Anton “Tony” Wallace, a church deacon, was an African-American.

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