ADL Welcomes Gov. Cuomo's Proposal to Classify Mass Violence Motivated by Hate as Domestic Terrorism

Albany, NY, January 8, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today praised New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his proposal to introduce a bill in 2020 that would for the first time classify mass violence motivated by hate as domestic terrorism and establish a task force to examine the issue. Under this initiative, announced at today’s State of the State speech in Albany, hate crimes committed with the intent to cause mass casualties would be considered “domestic acts of terrorism motivated by hate”— under New York law.

“We welcome Governor Cuomo’s recognition that hate crimes, when committed with an intent to cause mass casualties and terrorize a broader community, can also be considered domestic terrorism,” said Evan Bernstein, ADL Regional Director for New York and New Jersey. “Initiatives to address domestic terrorism must involve a careful balancing of security needs and civil liberties concerns, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and lawmakers with these goals in mind.”

Today, ADL released the latest available figures on recent anti-Semitic incidents in New York City and New York State. Looking at the five-week period from Dec.1, 2019 through Jan. 6, 2020, ADL has confirmed 43 anti-Semitic incidents statewide, up from 30 incidents during the same five-week period a year ago. This data represents a more than 40 percent increase year-over-year and includes one of the most violent anti-Semitic attacks in New York State in recent memory: the Dec. 28 Hanukkah stabbing at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, which left five people wounded, including one critically.

“As the Governor made clear, we are facing an epidemic of hate motivated violence against Jews in New York and we need to bring to bear all of the state’s resources to head off future acts of bias-fueled violence,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We are grateful for the governor’s leadership and his commitment to deter hate crimes in 2020 and stand ready to provide whatever resources we have available to prevent future hate crimes in New York State.”

ADL’s latest anti-Semitic incident data for New York State (Dec. 1-Jan. 6) includes:

  • 11 reported assaults against Jews;
  • 22 incidents of anti-Jewish harassment;
  • 10 acts of anti-Semitic vandalism.

All of the incidents have been confirmed and uploaded to ADL’s real-time Online Tracker of Anti-Semitic Incidents. The 11 reported assaults in New York State during the month of December include:

  • December 31: A man and woman forcefully grabbed an Orthodox Jewish woman’s wig. (Brooklyn)
  • December 28: Hanukkah stabbing attack in Monsey (Rockland County)
  • December 27: Three Jewish women in Crown Heights were allegedly slapped by an individual on the street who yelled, "F--- you Jew." (Brooklyn)
  • December 26: A Jewish woman and her son were attacked by a woman who yelled anti-Semitic slurs and hit the mother in the head. (Brooklyn)
  • December 25: An Orthodox Jewish man was chased down a street in Williamsburg and punched in the face. (Brooklyn)
  • December 25: A Jewish man in Boro Park was punched after trying to walk around an individual intentionally blocking his path. (Brooklyn)
  • December 24: In Crown Heights during the evening, a group of individuals approached an Orthodox man on the street, punched him the back of the head and fled. (Brooklyn)
  • December 24: In Crown Heights, around 2 AM, a group of individuals chased an Orthodox man, yelling "Fuck you Jew" and then threw a slushy at him. (Brooklyn)
  • December 24: CCTV shows an Orthodox Jewish man walking down the street in Crown Heights past a group of men then a man from the group, unprovoked, threw a chair at him. (Brooklyn)
  • December 23: Two Orthodox Jewish children were assaulted inside their apartment building in Williamsburg. (Brooklyn)
  • December 23: A Jewish man was physically assaulted and allegedly told, "Fuck you, Jew" by the suspect. (Manhattan).

ADL and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office recently announced an expansion of ADL’s premier education program, No Place for Hate ®, to bring the program to twice as many schools in Brooklyn in response to the recent upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents there.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.