Queens lawmakers stand in solidarity condemning spate of anti-Semitic attacks

Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Clyde Vanel’s office

In light of recent anti-Semitic attacks that occurred during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, Queens lawmakers and community leaders are standing in solidarity with the Jewish community. 

Among those who were present at Ohel Chabad-Lubavitchj, located at 226-20 Francis Lewis Blvd. in Cambria Heights, on Dec. 30 condemning the attacks were State Assemblymembers Clyde Vanel, David Weprin, Alicia Hyndman and Daniel Rosenthal. Other lawmakers in attendance included State Senators John Liu, Leroy Comrie, and James Sanders Jr. along with City Council Members Rory Lancman, Barry Grodenchik and Donovan Richards.

Following the press conference, Rabbi Abba Refson provided the lawmakers with an opportunity to visit the holy burial site of Lubavitcher Rebbe, one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century. Before entering the site, they wrote their prayers and requests. 

(Photo courtesy of Assemblyman Clyde Vanel’s office)

“With all the anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish community, we must stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters to address the root causes of hatred and bigotry,” Vanel said. “We must come together to ensure that we preserve and protect the rights of all individuals. An attack on one is an attack on all.” 

It’s the latest violent attack on people of the Jewish faith, according to reports. Five people were injured Dec. 28 after a machete-wielding man barged into a rabbi’s home in Monsey, N.Y., which is home to a Jewish community. The suspect, Grafton Thomas, 37, was arrested hours after the attack and slapped with federal hate crime charges on Monday. 

The assault comes after a spate of violent attacks on Jewish communities in New York and around the country, resulting in deployed police officers to several neighborhoods with a majority of Jewish residents following the attacks. 

“There is something terribly wrong in the world when we see a growing hate in our communities and do not combat it with justice and action. There are people who unfortunately do not believe we all should have the privileges of basic human rights, religion and economic growth,” Hyndman said. “Because of these truths, it is so important that those of us who will constantly fight for right, ensure to spread it far and wide. We must bridge cultural gaps institutionally and protect each other righteously.” 

Rosenthal thanked his colleagues and the entire Queens community for coming together in solidarity against hate. 

“It is only by standing united that we can continue the important work of eradicating anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in our country,” Rosenthal said.