Press Releases

Kathleen Rice, Elected Officials Pledge Action to Combat Anti-Semitic Violence

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Washington, January 3, 2020 | comments

CEDARHURST, NY – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) convened a press conference this morning to condemn anti-Semitism and pledge renewed action to combat it. Today’s event comes in the wake of several recent incidents of targeted violence against the Jewish community, including the Hanukkah stabbing in Monsey, the shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, and at least eight other anti-Semitic incidents reported in the New York City metropolitan area since December 13.

“The vicious attack in Monsey, and the alarming spike in anti-Semitic violence we have seen over the past several weeks, has put all of us on edge,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “I gathered federal, local, and state officials today to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and provide reassurance that we are working at every level of government to stop these bigoted acts of violence. We are New Yorkers, and an attack on one religious, racial or ethnic group is an attack on all of us. We will not tolerate these hateful acts.”

In her remarks, Rice pledged to fight for a number of initiatives to address anti-Semitic violence, including:

  • Increasing funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which helps organizations secure their facilities against a potential terrorist attack. In FY 2019, 17 Jewish organizations, synagogues, and schools in NY-04 received this funding, for a total of $1.7 million.
  • Increasing federal funding for state and local hate crimes investigations and prosecutions.
  • Increasing funding for the Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism prevention (TVTP) at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Passing the Never Again Education Act, a bipartisan bill to expand Holocaust education training and resources for teachers across the country.

U.S. Representatives Peter King (NY-02), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Comptroller Jack Schnirman, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, State Senator Todd Kaminsky (SD-9), State Assemblywoman Missy Miller (AD-20), Rabbi Kenneth Hain of Congregation Beth Sholom, and several other local officials and community leaders joined Rice for today’s event. 

“Anti-Semitism is an evil which can never be tolerated,” said Representative Peter King. “Americans of all religions, ethnic groups and political parties must stand in solidarity against any and all anti-Semitic words and deeds.”

“The terrible attacks in Monsey and Jersey City show us that nowhere is immune to the scourge of anti-Semitism that has spread throughout our nation like a cancer,” said Representative Gregory W. Meeks. “It pains me to see it spread to New York, which has long served as a symbol of multi-culturism, where communities of different faiths and ethnicities have lived together in harmony. We must make it very clear that hate has no place here - not in New York, not in the United States of America. Together, let us do all that is within our power to root out anti-semitism and protect all communities from its violence.” 

“Hanukkah 2019 in New York will be remembered for a sick amount of violent anti-Semitic attacks in and around New York City,” said Representative Lee Zeldin. “From colleges to Congress to Hanukkah parties and synagogues, anti-Semitism is on the rise and on full display in many ugly forms. ALL elected and community leaders need to step up to confront and crush this threat.”

“Anti-Semitism is real and growing. It must be addressed and called out,” said Representative Tom Suozzi. “While there are several known contributing factors in the rise of anti-Semitism throughout America such as divisive rhetoric at the national level, the rise of social media and ignorance, we must also be on high alert for nefarious use of social media and corruption by our foreign adversaries who wish to foment civil unrest. I will continue to work with local officials and with my colleagues in Washington to try and prevent these attacks from occurring.” 

“Nassau County stands in solidarity with our Jewish community, and we won’t be complacent in the face of this horrifying rise in anti-Semitic attacks,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Last month, Nassau and Suffolk formed a bi-county coalition that will identify and develop a plan of action to combat and report acts of hate and bias incidents on Long Island. We will work together to stand up to hate and stress the value of our diverse Long Island community. Together, we are committed to fostering a culture of unity among all Long Islanders. Thank you Congresswoman Rice for your important leadership on this issue.”

“The alarming rise of anti-Semitic hate and the attacks it inspires is not just a trend occurring in our community and across our state, but around the world,” said Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman. “By the numbers, anti-Semitism is on the rise, and by the numbers, local leaders must take real action to confront it and stop it in its tracks. I’m proud to stand with leaders from across our island who all agree that an attack on one community is an attack on all. Those who would promote hate should not feel emboldened. In fact, they have emboldened us to act.”

“The recent vicious attacks on members of the Jewish community in the tri state area is of upmost concern,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “The Nassau County Police Department’s Intelligence Unit is working with federal, state and local authorities to monitor any threats to our residents. We continue our increased and intensified patrols of all areas of concern and are prepared to respond at a moment’s notice. As we continue to work with our communities, we request that all of our residents call the police immediately if they see or hear anything suspicious. Nassau County will continue their zero-tolerance approach towards any bias of individuals or groups”

“As a community, it’s critical that with one collective voice we strongly condemn the abhorrent rise of anti-Semitic attacks occurring throughout our state,” said State Senator Todd Kaminsky. “We must remain united in our resolve to protect our communities and offer real solutions to this scourge of violence by enacting tougher hate crime legislation and providing more security funding.”

“Hanukkah is a time for tradition, celebration and family,” said State Assemblywoman Missy Miller. “These disturbing acts of anti-Semitism during this time cannot be ignored. We are dealing with domestic terrorism and a targeted attack on faith – something must be done.”  

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Nita Lowey (NY-17) were unable to attend this morning’s press conference and issued the following statements:

“Over the last month, we have witnessed far too many attacks on Jewish communities in our state. The Hanukkah attack on worshippers in Monsey was the most recent horrific reminder of the scourge of anti-Semitic violence on Jewish communities in New York and New Jersey, and throughout the country” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The ability of any New Yorker, and any American, to worship freely and without fear of violence is an unshakeable tenet of our state and our country. Last weekend, I met with community and faith leaders about how we can return to that tenet, end prejudice, combat anti-Semitism, and keep families safe in their community. I have always been proud to stand with the Jewish Community, and I won’t stop fighting until all New Yorkers can feel safe without prejudice or violence.”

“The heinous attack at Rabbi Rottenberg’s home in Monsey was one of 14 anti-Semitic crimes in the New York City area in the last two weeks,” said Representative Nita Lowey, “but these attacks should not dictate when and how people practice their faith. Addressing this scourge of anti-Semitic violence will take a comprehensive approach that involves education, public awareness, strong intel efforts, and investments in protecting minority communities. That is why, as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I have fought long and hard to increase vital security funding. In 2018, I established a nonprofit security grant program for those outside of UASI regions, and in the most recent federal spending package, I successfully increased funding for that program by 300 percent from $10 million to $40 million. As I continue to hold the Monsey community and the victims of this attack in my prayers, I will fight tirelessly to end the spread of anti-Semitism and keep our communities safe.”

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