Governor Visits Orthodox Jewish Neighborhood in Williamsburg with Rabbi Niederman to Show Support for Jewish Community in Wake of Stabbing in Monsey and Other Recent Anti-Semitic Attacks
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed State Police to further increase patrols and security in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods across the State. The Governor also visited an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Williamsburg with Rabbi David Niederman to show support for the Jewish Community in the wake of the stabbing in Monsey and a recent rash of other anti-Semitic attacks.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
PHOTOS of the Governor's visit are available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript is available below:
Governor Cuomo: The Jewish Community is very important to me personally. It's been very important to my family for many years. Today, Rabbi knows, my father was Governor before me, today is the anniversary of his death - it's the fifth-year anniversary of his death. And the relationship with the Orthodox community goes back to my father, when I was a young, young man. So it's gone on for many decades, our relationship, and it's very important to me, it was important to my father, it's important to my whole family and it's important to the whole family of New York. Everybody feels very upset and disturbed about what happened and everybody stands in solidarity with you. So I'm here today, not just for me, I'm here representing all the people of the State of New York who want to say they're sorry about the tragedy and they stand with you in total solidarity and love, because that's what we are.
Rabbi Niederman: The Governor's appearance over the last few days, knows that it's not only words, I'm standing in solidarity, but he really proposed a lot of actions to make sure people will think not twice, but three times, if they are going to commit a hate crime. The Governor's proposing it. Rules and regulations, not only take off the guns, because that's not enough, you can commit crimes, hate crimes, even if it's not fatal, but are detrimental to the families, verbal or assaults, and the Governor is looking to strengthen that hate crime provision to make sure that no Jewish community, no community, will have to go through what we have been going through. And you should feel safe when you send your child to go to Shul or you go to Shul. You shouldn't be afraid by what happened in Monsey, you shouldn't be afraid when you have the children coming home from school. And we hope that it's a new beginning, it's a new decade, and we're looking forward to leading a safe, peaceful community, being able to continue our religious traditions the way we had that for generations and generations. And I thank you for that.
Governor Cuomo: Let me just comment on what the Rabbi said, because he's exactly right. It's not just standing in solidarity, which we do, it's taking actions to make you secure in your community. You see more police now, which we said we would do and we're going to continue to do. I'm proposing a new law that I want them to pass in January - we're in January, when they come back in one week, the Legislature comes back in one week - a domestic terrorism law. You know what happened in Monsey? It was terrorism. It was terrorism. It was a hate crime and it was terrorism. When you attack people, and you're trying to hurt or murder a large number of people because of their race or their religion, that is terrorism, it's domestic terrorism. Terrorist doesn't have to come on a plane, you can have a person in this country who's a terrorist, a domestic terrorist. That's what happened in Monsey. And we have to say, yes we're not going to tolerate it, it was ignorant, it's anti-American. This country was founded on freedom of religion. George Washington went to a Synagogue, worshipped with Jewish people. So it's ignorant, it's intolerant, it's also illegal and we're going to enforce the law and we're going to make sure the law is enforced. And you have my word on that.