|Visiting NY governor condemns recent anti-Semitic incidents|
“It is disgusting, it is reprehensible, it violates every tenant of the New York state tradition,” says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem • President Reuven Rivlin: “Jews must be safe wherever they are.”
Yori Yalon, Erez Linn, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff
|New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lays a wreath at Yad Vashem, Sunday | Photo credit: Reuters|
On a visit to Israel’s Holocaust memorial Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged on to take action against anti-Semitic acts in the United States, amid increasing reports of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries.
“We must have zero tolerance for any abuse or discrimination of any fellow human being,” Cuomo said after touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Jerusalem.
“It is disgusting, it is reprehensible, it violates every tenant of the New York state tradition,” he said.
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Cuomo’s comments follow a series of vandalism attacks at Jewish cemeteries and more than 120 bomb threats to Jewish organizations in three dozen states since early January. In New York City alone, anti-Semitic hate crimes have nearly doubled in the past year.
Standing next to President Reuven Rivlin, Cuomo said his state has posted rewards and put together a special police unit to combat the phenomenon.
“New York state by its definition is a celebration of diversity; it accepts all, we believe in the spirit of inclusion and we live by discrimination of none. New York’s principles are built on a rock they will not change and the political wind will not change them,” he said. “We have made it clear that there will be no tolerance for these acts of anti-Semitism.”
Rivlin thanked Cuomo for his visit, saying, “Your arrival to Israel at this time is an extremely important signal that the U.S. people and government will not let anti-Semitism win.
“On behalf of the State of Israel, I would like to express our appreciation for your visit and for the clear and powerful message you have sent. The same appreciation goes to President [Donald] Trump, who condemned the recent attacks. And we are deeply touched by Vice President [Mike] Pence who went and gave a hand — and a voice — in fixing the broken gravestones. The fact that so many Christians and Muslims came to aid the Jewish communities sends the clearest message against racism and hatred. It is a sign of great hope and civil courage.”
Rivlin stressed that “Jews must be safe wherever they are, wherever they are in the world, especially and specifically in the United States.”
At Yad Vashem, Cuomo and Rivlin toured the museum, laid a wreath and added to the Eternal Flame during a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance.
Cuomo was set to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tour the Western Wall and attend a security briefing at Jerusalem’s Old City Police Headquarters before returning to New York Monday. He was also set to host a New York State-Israel Economic Development working lunch with the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.
Meanwhile, the New York Police Department’s hate crimes division has determined that the headstones toppled at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn over the weekend were the result of environmental causes and not vandalism.
However, the incident follows the targeting of a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York. About 100 headstones were also recently overturned in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, a week after a similar crime in Missouri. In Indiana, an apparent gunshot fired into a synagogue Tuesday has drawn the attention of the FBI.
Meanwhile, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, toured the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington last week, a visit her father is reportedly planning to make as well. She was accompanied by her in-laws, Charles and Seryl Kushner.