New York is deploying additional law enforcement officers to synagogues, schools and Jewish community institutions across the state to help deter threats and violence, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
“We have no tolerance for discrimination against anyone, and that certainly applies to our Jewish brothers and sisters,” Cuomo said.
In the past weeks, the country has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents as tensions flared over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that saw hundreds killed over 11 days, most of them Palestinian, in violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The sides agreed to a ceasefire on May 20.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new $3 million initiative on Thursday aimed at helping community organizations fight back against hate crimes. The city was already facing an uptick in violent assaults targeting Asian Americans when reports of anti-Semitic incidents began earlier this month.
A man is facing hate crime charges after allegedly beating two Jewish teens and yelling anti-Jewish statements at several men in two separate incidents that took place in Brooklyn last weekend. De Blasio said he spoke with two of the victims.
“I heard the fear they felt, the pain they felt, the sense of insecurity. We can’t let that happen in New York City,” the mayor said.
A string of incidents in multiple cities has led a group of Democratic House members who are Jewish to call on President Joe Biden to address it.
They sent a letter to Biden on Tuesday asking him to lead a “united, all-of-government effort to combat rising antisemitism in this country.”
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have condemned recent attacks toward the Jewish community but other politicians, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have recently sparked bipartisan outrage over anti-Semitic comments.
CNN has reported that a group of Biden administration officials was expected to meet with Jewish advocacy groups and stakeholders Thursday.
Several lawmakers, faith leaders and advocates are participating in a virtual day of action in response to the surge in attacks and threats.
“Targeting Jews for being Jewish is not activism or a foreign policy debate – it’s antisemitism. We condemn anti-Jewish hate, violence against Jews, and antisemitism in all spaces – no caveats and no qualifiers,” the organizers said in a statement.
A Holocaust museum in Florida was vandalized
Earlier on Thursday, police were called to The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg after reports that a wall had been vandalized.
When officers arrived at the museum, they discovered that a swastika and anti-Semitic language had been spray painted. Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, police said in a statement.
“This act of hatred demonstrates that the work of the Florida Holocaust Museum is more important than ever,” Elizabeth Gelman, the museum’s executive director said in a statement.
“We remain committed to our vital mission to prevent future genocides and educate people about the dangers of antisemitism and other forms of racism and hatred. Clearly, our society still has a long way to go,” she added.
CNN’s Laura Ly, Gregory Lemos, Rob Frehse, Anna Sturla, Ryan Nobles and Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.