December 29, 2019

Cuomo Calls Hanukkah Stabbing Attack ‘Domestic Terrorism’
(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called a multiple stabbing during Hanukkah celebrations on Saturday night “an act of domestic terrorism,” and President Donald Trump urged the nation to unite against antisemitism. The attack, which Cuomo said was one of about 13 antisemitic incidents in the past few weeks, took place in Monsey, a suburban hamlet in Rockland County, north of New York City.“I believe the situation has gotten so bad, frankly, that we need to increase our legal enforcement,” Cuomo said Sunday during a televised press briefing.A man reportedly entered the home of a Hasidic rabbi during Hanukkah celebrations Saturday evening and stabbed people gathered there with a large knife, injuring five people. Five CountsThe Ramapo police Department said in a statement Sunday that 37-year-old Grafton Thomas had been arraigned on five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. Thomas was transported to Rockland County Jail, according to the police department.Earlier, Cuomo said on CNN that attacks like the one in Monsey should be “punished as if it is an act of terrorism.” He said New York state would take the lead, and that he would outline those plans in his State of the State address in January.Cuomo said in an interview on Fox News that he would also increase the police presence.Adding OfficersNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he’ll add additional police officers in certain New York neighborhoods with large Jewish populations, like Brooklyn’s Crown Heights and Williamsburg. On Sunday in an interview with Fox News, the mayor said that the country was experiencing a “crisis of antisemitism.” “We have seen enough in New York,” Cuomo said on CNN‘s “State of the Union.” “This is violence spurred by hate. It is mass violence and I consider this an act of domestic terrorism.”The Anti-Defamation League has identified 10 anti-Semitic incidents in New York and New Jersey since the eight-day Hanukkah festival began Dec. 22.On Dec. 23, a 65-year-old Orthodox man was punched in the face in Manhattan by someone screaming anti-Semitic slurs, according to the league. Later an Orthodox man was chased by a group yelling anti-Semitic slurs in Brooklyn. The attacks have continued, culminating in the stabbing Saturday night.“At this point we are in an epidemic in New York City, of all places,” Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, said on CNN. “There’s a lot of fear and anxiety.”Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon that the attack was “horrific. We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of antisemitism.” On Twitter, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders said he was “outraged by this knife attack in Monsey. We must confront this surge of antisemitic violence, prioritize the fight against bigotry, and bring people together -- instead of dividing people up.”Other 2020 White House hopefuls weighed in. Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter that she was “heartsick” and “bigotry has no place in our society.” Former Vice President Joe Biden said the county needs to “fight these flames of hatred.”Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said on CNN that it was right to get “evil” people off the street, but that he’d want to see the law Cuomo is proposing before supporting such a measure on a national level.“America is a big, wide-open, pluralistic country. I don’t think any of us want to live in a police state,” Kennedy said. “Freedom has risk.” (Updates with Trump tweet from first paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at enewcomer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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