Five people were wounded in a stabbing attack at a Hanukkah party on Saturday in the home of a New York Rabbi, in what is being described by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as an act of “domestic terrorism.” Israeli leaders were quick to express their own horror at the attack. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Sunday he was “shocked and outraged by the terrible attack in New York. We are praying for the rapid recovery of those injured.”
USA Today reported that one person was still in critical condition as of Sunday from the knife assault, which took place at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg next door to Congregation Netzach Yisroel. Cuomo, in a transcript of comments posted to the Governor’s website, said that the State of New York has had 13 antisemitic incidents since December 8.
“It is domestic terrorism. These are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence, generate fear based on race, color, creed. That is the definition of terrorism,” said Cuomo. Rivlin, in his comments published in an Israeli press release, said that anti-Semitism is a global concern.
“The rise of antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem, and certainly not just the State of Israel’s problem. We must work together to confront this evil, which is raising its head again and is a genuine threat around the world.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday published by his office, called the stabbing a “vicious attack” and said Israel was willing to assist to address global anti-Semitism.
“Israel strongly condemns the recent displays of antisemitism… We will cooperate however possible with the local authorities in order to assist in defeating this phenomenon. We offer our assistance to every country,” he said.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial center in Israel, said in a statement posted to their website they were “deeply concerned” by the antisemitic attack.
“Yad Vashem stands united with the families of those injured in last night’s attack and the local Jewish community, and calls upon local leaders to act swiftly and bring to justice the perpetrators of this latest violent act of hatred, bigotry and antisemitism,” said the statement.
Cuomo, in his comments, pointed to a warning from Yad Vashem. “There is a quote at the Holocaust Museum in Israel that says to the effect, ‘A country is not just what it does, it is what it tolerates.’ And that is a haunting quote for us in this country. I think our united message today is we will not tolerate anti-Semitism,” said Cuomo.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, in his group’s statement, issued a fresh warning as well. “The scenes from recent antisemitic attacks in the United States must not be allowed to become a regular occurrence,” said Shalev. “We believe that meaningful and relevant Holocaust education is vital in order to call attention to the dangers of what can happen when antisemitism goes unchecked.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 29, 2019)