Dec 29, 2019

ADL official: The Jewish community is facing an "epidemic" in New York

Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that New York's Jewish communities are facing an "epidemic" following a mass stabbing at the home of a Hasidic rabbi — roughly the 13th anti-Semitic attack in New York in the past few weeks.

"The community is in shock. There's a lot of fear and anxiety, but that's why it's really important for organizations like ADL and broader community to step up and be allies."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday outside the rabbi's house that he considers the attack to be "domestic terrorism" and would introduce a law that would label anti-Semitic attacks as such.

"Let's call it what it is. These people are domestic terrorists. And the law should reflect that, and they should be punished as if it was an act of terrorism. And we're going to take the lead here in the state of New York and do just that, and I'm going to propose that in the beginning of January when I lay out my State of the State address."

The big picture: Segal noted that New York City saw a 17% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from January to November of this year compared to last year. He attributed the rise in part to the "mainstreaming" of anti-Semitism on social media.

Context: The stabbings followed a string of attacks targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey on Dec. 10.

Over the weekend, the NYPD had beefed up patrols in Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations after a string of anti-Semitic attacks during Hanukkah, per AP.

  • Besides making officers more visible in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, police will boost visits to houses of worship and other places.
  • The Guardian Angels, a private, unarmed crime-prevention group, said it would begin patrolling Jewish neighborhoods following the attacks, saying the police are not doing enough.

Go deeper: More details from Saturday night's attack

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