By COLlive reporter
Photos, Video: Mendy Krief/COLlive
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress who is running for Governor of New York, was joined by Jewish Community leaders and Crown Heights residents to speak out against recent violent antisemitic attacks and the spread of antisemitic hate throughout New York.
Speakers at the press conference held in front of the Jewish Children’s Museum included Congressman Zeldin, New York City Council Member Kalman Yeger, activists Dov Hikind, Geoffrey Davis and Max Coen, and a recent victim of a violent crime, Yosef Hershkop.
Speakers decried the serious rise in recent hate attacks in New York City and the lack of serious consequences and punishment for those who commit hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers.
“We’ve reached a point where people that might be wearing a yarmulka, or maybe they are Asian or a Sikh cab driver…are being targeted with raw violent hate – innocent New Yorkers. we should be free to walk our streets and our subways without fear of being attacked by neighbors,” said Congressman Zeldin.
“For far too long, Jewish New Yorkers have lived in fear of violence and hate because of their religious beliefs. The data is alarming. New York State leads the nation in antisemitic incidents. Arrests for attacks on Jews in 2022 already far exceed last year’s total. Out of hundreds of hate crimes committed, only one offender has served even a single day in prison. The data is overwhelming,” Zeldin said. “Instead of violent antisemites declaring open season on Jewish New Yorkers, it’s long past time for the criminal justice system in this state to bring down the hammer big time on these criminals and make it crystal clear that there is a zero tolerance policy for violent attacks on innocent victims and religious freedom.”
A recent report from Americans Against Antisemitism details that of the hundreds of hate crimes committed against Jewish New Yorkers since 2018, only one of the offenders has served even a single day in prison. New York State led the entire nation in antisemitic incidents in 2021, and in the span of less than two weeks in May, there were three antisemitic assaults in Brooklyn alone.
The most gruesome incident came at the corner of Utica Avenue and President Street, where a young Rabbi was punched and kicked in the head, had antisemitic slurs shouted at him, and was forced to go to the hospital due to his injuries. Additionally, in July, a leader in the Jewish community was violently attacked in Crown Heights in front of his young son.
Following the press conference, Rep. Zeldin visited 770 Eastern Parkway, where he was helped to put on Tefillin.
VIDEO: Lee Zeldin speaks
VIDEO: Yosef Hershkop speaks
VIDEO: Max Coen speaks
Zeldin puts on Tefillin in 770