Jewish groups call for action from NYC council to address antisemitism amid protests

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Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Jewish groups call for action from NYC Council to address antisemitism
Anthony Carlo was at City Hall with details on New York's plan to reduce hate crimes in the wake of the pro-Palestine protests at college campuses across the city.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Some Jewish New Yorkers called on the city council on Wednesday to address antisemitism amid what they say are anti-Jewish protests happening across the city.

At a press conference outside City Hall, members of the groups End Jew Hatred and Take Back NYC expressed disappointment over the escalation of the recent demonstrations.

They cited data from the NYPD which showed the number of antisemitic incidents reported in the city between October 7, when the Hamas-led attack on Israel happened, through March was more than double that of the same period in 2022-2023.

The groups said the tense situation at Columbia University and other colleges across the city is creating an environment for antisemitism to cultivate and grow into an even bigger public safety issue.

They blamed complacency from the city council, specifically its public safety committee, and limits to police enforcement.

"The job of the public safety committee is to ensure the public safety of New Yorkers and they're not doing that. In fact, since February everything is escalated, as we all know, at our universities; at Columbia, at CCNY, at FIT, at NYU. The public safety committee, with the job of ensuring public safety for New Yorkers, has been silent," Jeanne Sprenger with Take Back NYC said.

They warned what's happening at the universities has and will happen in the streets if immediate action is not taken and they say that goes beyond making arrests.

"For the past six months, Jews have been pulling out their kids from public schools in New York City. Jews have been changing their names on rideshare apps so they won't be recognized as Jews. Jews have been taking down their mezuzahs, they've been hiding their Stars of David so they won't be attacked. This is not a university problem, this is a city problem," Columbia University Assistant Professor Shai Davidai said.

The groups want harsher penalties for those arrested and convicted of hate crimes and new legislation in the city's administrative code to clamp down on antisemitism.

The council committee on public safety was set to meet shortly after the press conference.

Nearly 300 people were arrested at Columbia University and City College Tuesday night, Mayor Eric Adams said.

N.J. Burkett has the story in Lower Manhattan on the protests.


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