NY Governor Denounces Antisemitic Vandalism at Brooklyn Museum Great Board Members’ Homes

By worldwidetracers.com Jun 13, 2024

NY Governor Denounces Antisemitic Vandalism

NY-New York Governor Kathy Hochul has condemned the recent acts of antisemitic vandalism targeting the homes of Jewish board members of the Brooklyn Museum. Calling it “an abhorrent act of antisemitism,” Governor Hochul has emphasized the need for a swift and thorough investigation.

NY-The Hate Crimes Task Force of the New York Police Department (NYPD) is currently investigating the incidents. According to a New York City law enforcement official, several reports of antisemitic vandalism were filed regarding the homes of Jewish board members, including the museum’s director. The vandalism took place on Tuesday night, affecting five residences—three in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn.

“We are deeply troubled by these horrible acts,” said Taylor Maatman, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Museum, in a statement to CNN.

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The timing of these incidents is particularly alarming, as they occur during a period when the United States is experiencing a significant rise in antisemitic incidents. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported in its annual audit, released in April, that the number of antisemitic incidents in the country has reached its highest level since the organization began tracking data in 1979.

NYC Comptroller Brad Lander took to social media to express his outrage, posting photos of the vandalism on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday. “The cowards who did this are way over the line into antisemitism, harming the cause they claim to care about, and making everyone less safe,” Lander wrote.

The images shared by Lander depict a home with its front doors and windows splattered with red paint. A sign hanging in the entrance, covered with red handprints, reads, “Anne Pasternak Brooklyn Museum White Supremacist Zionist.”

This disturbing incident has drawn widespread condemnation from various quarters, highlighting the pervasive nature of antisemitism and the urgent need for measures to combat it. The vandalism has not only caused physical damage but also instilled fear and anxiety within the Jewish community and beyond.

Antisemitism on the Rise

The ADL’s report underscores a worrying trend of increasing antisemitic incidents across the United States. The organization recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents in 2021, a 34% increase from the previous year. This surge includes harassment, vandalism, and assaults targeting Jewish individuals and institutions.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, expressed deep concern over the rising tide of antisemitism. “We are seeing a level of hate against Jews that is unprecedented in modern American history,” he said. “This is not just a Jewish problem. This is a societal problem that affects all of us.”

The recent vandalism at the homes of Brooklyn Museum board members is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the Jewish community. It also underscores the importance of robust law enforcement efforts and community solidarity in combating hate crimes.

Community Response

In response to the vandalism, community leaders and organizations have rallied to support the affected individuals and to denounce antisemitism. The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) issued a statement condemning the acts and calling for increased security measures to protect Jewish institutions and individuals.

“We stand with the Brooklyn Museum board members and all those who have been targeted by these despicable acts,” said Gideon Taylor, Executive Vice President and CEO of JCRC-NY. “We call on all New Yorkers to stand united against hate and to ensure that our city remains a place of safety and inclusion for all.”

Local politicians have also voiced their support for the victims and their commitment to fighting antisemitism. New York City Mayor Eric Adams condemned the vandalism, stating, “Antisemitism has no place in our city, and we will not tolerate any form of hate. We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety and security of our Jewish community.”

Law Enforcement Efforts

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is working diligently to investigate the incidents and to identify the perpetrators. Law enforcement officials have urged anyone with information about the vandalism to come forward and assist with the investigation.

Commissioner Dermot Shea of the NYPD emphasized the department’s commitment to addressing hate crimes. “We take these incidents very seriously and will use all available resources to bring those responsible to justice,” he said. “Hate crimes not only harm the immediate victims but also instill fear in the broader community. We are determined to combat this menace and to ensure that New York City remains a safe and welcoming place for all.”

The NYPD has also increased patrols in neighborhoods with significant Jewish populations and around Jewish institutions to prevent further incidents and to reassure the community.

Historical Context

Antisemitism has a long and troubling history, both globally and within the United States. The Holocaust, during which six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime, is the most horrific manifestation of antisemitic violence. In the post-war period, while antisemitism never disappeared, there were periods of relative decline in overt acts of hate against Jews in many parts of the world.

However, the late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen resurgences of antisemitism, often linked to broader social and political trends. The internet and social media have amplified antisemitic conspiracy theories and hate speech, contributing to the spread of antisemitic sentiments.

In recent years, high-profile incidents, such as the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, have highlighted the persistent and deadly nature of antisemitism. These incidents have sparked renewed efforts to address and combat antisemitism at both the national and community levels.

The Role of Education

Education is widely regarded as a crucial tool in combating antisemitism. Organizations like the ADL and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum provide educational resources and programs aimed at increasing awareness about the Holocaust and the dangers of hate speech and discrimination.

Governor Hochul has emphasized the importance of education in her response to the recent vandalism. “We must ensure that our children and future generations understand the history and consequences of antisemitism,” she said. “Education is key to building a more inclusive and tolerant society.”

Schools and universities play a vital role in these educational efforts. Incorporating comprehensive Holocaust education into school curricula can help students understand the historical context of antisemitism and its contemporary manifestations.

Moving Forward

The vandalism targeting the homes of Jewish board members of the Brooklyn Museum serves as a stark reminder of the persistent threat of antisemitism. It also highlights the importance of community solidarity, law enforcement efforts, and educational initiatives in combating hate.

Governor Hochul’s condemnation of the acts, along with the ongoing investigation by the NYPD, underscores the commitment of New York’s leadership to addressing and preventing hate crimes. Community organizations and leaders continue to play a vital role in supporting victims and promoting tolerance and understanding.

As the investigation continues, it is crucial for the community to remain vigilant and united in the face of hate. The fight against antisemitism requires a collective effort, with contributions from law enforcement, educators, community leaders, and individuals.

The recent incidents are a sobering reminder that the fight against hate is far from over. However, they also serve as a call to action—a call to stand up against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination, to support those affected, and to work towards a more inclusive and just society for all.

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