Cuomo condemns threats during JCC visit

An official there is quoted in the D&C as saying he doesn't know if it is a hate crime at this point, but Cuomo says given recent incidents at Jewish cemeteries nationwide as well as bomb threats made to Jewish Community Centers, he wants an investigation.

This significant move on New York's part follows Cuomo's June executive order, the first in the USA, which forces state entities to drop investments linked to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Cuomo visited Israel in August 2014 during his re-election bid, and he planned to go again in last September, but the trip was cancelled after a fatal train crash in New Jersey. Cuomo reminded his audience Wednesday that NY has the largest Jewish population outside Israel.

Cuomo said he would like to every governor in the nation sign similar executive orders against BDS.

The last two weeks saw vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, as well as two more waves of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers, schools and institutions across the country, representing the fourth and fifth waves of such harassment this year.


"With this ugliness that is going on, it's our obligation to stand up and to speak loudly against it", Cuomo said. "If anything it seems like it's getting worse".

"This is repugnant to everything we believe as New Yorkers", the governor said.

Szegedin said that the rise of anti-Semitic acts throughout the state was point of discussion and is a concern for Kiryas Joel. "We're proud of it, and NY wouldn't be NY without the Jewish community".

Cuomo repeated that he's set up a special unit in the state police to investigate the crimes and other hate crimes, and has created a fund for a $5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of anyone involved in the incidents. "The State Police Hate Crimes Task Force, in partnership with federal and local authorities, have launched aggressive investigations into reported hate crimes across the state", Cuomo said in a news release.

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