In Israel, New York Gov. Cuomo condemns anti-Semitic attacks

“It is disgusting, it is reprehensible, it violates every tenet of the New York State tradition,” Governor Cuomo said of anti-Semitic attacks in the US.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a recent rash of anti-Semitic acts in the United States is “reprehensible” and his state won’t tolerate them.

In a visit to Israel on Sunday, Cuomo, who traveled to Israel this weekend in a gesture of solidarity spurred by acts of anti-Semitism in the US,  made his first comments following the toppling of headstones at a Jewish cemetery this weekend in Brooklyn.

This is the fourth incident of Jewish cemetery desecration in the US in the past 20 weeks, and follows 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 nearly doubled in the past year, according to NYPD data.

Speaking at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Cuomo said the incidents, “violated every tenet of the New York State tradition.”

He said the state has posted rewards and assembled a special police unit to combat the phenomenon.

“We must live by the rules that an abuse to one, an affront to one, is an affront to all, and that large fires start as small fires, and we will have zero tolerance for any abuse or discrimination of any fellow human being. In the United States now we have had a rash of anti-Semitism, over 100 acts of anti-Semitism, and I am sad to say also in my state, the state of New York. It is disgusting, it is reprehensible, it violates every tenet of the New York State tradition.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 that will not change and the political wings will not change them,” he said, alongside Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. “We have made it clear that there will be no tolerance for these acts of anti-Semitism.”

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‘A sign of great hope and civil courage’

Rivlin thanked Cuomo for his visit. “Your arrival to Israel at this time is an extremely important signal that the US 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.” He added, “The same appreciation goes to President Trump, who condemned the recent attacks. And we are deeply touched by Vice President Pence who went and gave a hand-and a voice- in fixing the broken gravestone. 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.”

The New York Police Department’s hate crimes division is investigating the toppled headstones at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. It follows the targeting of a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York.

About 100 headstones were recently overturned in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, about a week after a similar crime in St. Louis, Missouri.

In Indiana, an apparent gunshot fired into a synagogue Tuesday has drawn the attention of the FBI.

Cuomo, who returns to New York Monday, will also meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tour the Western Wall and attend a security briefing at Jerusalem’s Old City Police Headquarters. He’ll also host a New York State-Israel Economic Development working lunch with the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.

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By: AP and World Israel News Staff