The spike in antisemitic incidents in the United States over the past few years is alarming. Jews are being physically attacked, killed and verbally assaulted, while their properties are being vandalized.
The New York / New Jersey / Connecticut tri-state region has been hit particularly hard. Murders in Jersey City and Monsey; bricks and punches thrown in people’s faces in Brooklyn and synagogues in Riverdale; swastikas painted in schools in Columbia University, New Rochelle High School and Westchester parks. The list is long.
With the onset of the coronavirus and fighting in the Middle East, things have gotten even worse.
As the first known patient with COVID-19 came from the Orthodox Jewish community of New Rochelle, antisemitic slurs have become more common for Jews walking the streets and shopping in stores. When fighting broke out among Arabs and Jews in Israel, a mob brutally beat a Jew walking the streets of Manhattan.
Westchester County, sitting in the intersection of the tri-state region and home to one of the largest concentrations of Jews in the United States, must take action.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) developed a working definiton of antisemitism in 2016 to help countries and municipalities develop policies to help fight the scourge. The IHRA definition of antisemitism is endorsed by major Jewish organizations including the ADL and the AJC. Major counties and cities in New York have begun endorsing the definition including Nassau County and the Village of Great Neck.
Westchester County should endorse it as well.
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