Since the heinous terrorist attack against Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023, there have been sharp increases in Antisemitic hate speech, threats, and violence in New York and elsewhere in the United States, including in schools and on university campuses. In New York City, for instance, 69 Antisemitic bias crimes were reported in October 2023 (out of 101 bias incidents overall), while last October there were 22 reported Antisemitic hate crimes (out of 45 overall). That is, the sheer number has more than tripled (from 22 to 69), and the proportion has risen from slightly less than half to more than two-thirds. Similar trends have been seen nationwide. This alarming increase has made Jewish students fearful to display signs of their identity on campuses, has caused Jewish day schools to cancel classes, and has spurred Jewish institutions to take unprecedented security measures.
All bias crimes are deeply troubling, and many types are on the rise. For example, in October 2023, New York City saw eight anti-Muslim bias crimes reported (compared to zero in October 2022), four anti-Black bias crimes (compared to one in October 2022), and seven hate crimes based on sexual orientation (compared to three in October 2022). And the overall number of hate crimes more than doubled – from 45 in October 2022 to 101 in October 2023. None of this is acceptable.
NYCLA unequivocally condemns all forms of hate and hate speech. But now in particular – when our City and our State are experiencing levels of Antisemitic bias crimes that we can without exaggeration say are beyond anything that most people living in this country have ever experienced – it is right and fitting that Antisemitism should be a particular focus of our concern.
We therefore commend New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who has spoken out against Antisemitism in the wake of these incidents. Governor Hochul announced her commitment of substantial additional resources to a Joint Terrorism Task Force, “to fight hate in all its forms after the Hamas terror attacks.”
We stand with Governor Hochul in denouncing all forms of racial, religious, ethnic, and national prejudice – and in denouncing Antisemitism in particular, because (as the statistics show) it truly has taken center stage in the last five weeks. We further call on leaders of educational institutions to do the same and to protect students, faculty, and staff from being victimized by Antisemitic or other religious, ethnic, or national bias. The events occurring halfway around the world, which have affected many of us in deeply personal ways, should not be used as a springboard for divisiveness at home.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and has a long history of supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence. For more information on NYCLA please visit nycla.org.
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