Call for unity after anti-Semitic vandalism on Staten Island

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MANOR HEIGHTS, Staten Island (WABC) -- There is a call to action against anti-Semitism and hate on Staten Island, with lawmakers demanding action at a unity rally Tuesday after a recent uptick in bias crimes.

Following a series of incidents, political leaders held a news conference and met Jewish residents in an effort to ease fears and talk about measures to reduce the number of hate-related crimes.

At the event Tuesday morning on Harold Street, officials themselves grabbed paint rollers and removed a message of hate written on the side of the Chabad of Staten Island.

It read, "Synagogue of Satan."

"Every act of evil, we need to redouble our acts of kindness," Rabbi Moshe Katzman said. "And this is the only way we can continue in life."


Call for unity after anti-Semitic vandalism on Staten Island

Anthony Johnson reports on the anti-Semitic vandalism on Staten Island.

By Anthony Johnson

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 10:05 AMMANOR HEIGHTS, Staten Island (WABC) -- There is a call to action against anti-Semitism and hate on Staten Island, with lawmakers demanding action at a unity rally Tuesday after a recent uptick in bias crimes.

Following a series of incidents, political leaders held a news conference and met Jewish residents in an effort to ease fears and talk about measures to reduce the number of hate-related crimes.

At the event Tuesday morning on Harold Street, officials themselves grabbed paint rollers and removed a message of hate written on the side of the Chabad of Staten Island.

It read, "Synagogue of Satan."

"Every act of evil, we need to redouble our acts of kindness," Rabbi Moshe Katzman said. "And this is the only way we can continue in life."

Earlier, Congressman Max Rose joined the district attorney and other officials to talk about the issue and try to come up with some possible solutions.

"We refuse to give in and let whoever committed that act of hate outside, we refuse to let them win," he said. "Because we will always speak to our better angels."

And they say this was only the beginning of the community's effort to spread the message of love and acceptance.

"We're taking a stand for light, because only light can defeat darkness," District Attorney Michael McMahon said. "We're taking a stand for love, because only love can defeat hate."

Officials from the NYPD were also on hand to discuss the crimes.

"Someone out there knows who perpetrated this crime," NYPD Assistant Chief and Staten Island Borough Commander Ken Corey said. "Tell us. Help us keep you safe."

There has been a rise in anti-Semitic crimes, and there have been calls to address the issue before it gets any uglier.

Following the incident in Manor Heights, Congressman Rose sent out a tweet saying: This act of anti-Semitic vandalism at Chabad of Staten Island synagogue is gut wrenching. But we cannot ignore it. We must acknowledge that not only does such hate exist, but unfortunately it’s on the rise.
We must unite around denouncing such hate. This cannot stand.