NY state senator urges passage of his anti-Semitism bill

Senator Joseph Griffo says that his legislation would offer additional protections against anti-Semitic attacks.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

New York State
New York State

In the wake of the surge of attacks against Jews across the United States, especially in cities such as New York City, upstate New York state Senator Joseph Griffo is urging the passage of legislation he introduced that would offer additional protections against anti-Semitic acts.

With the ADL reporting that there has been a dangerous increase in online and real-world anti-Semitic incidents in the US, Griffo’s bill would amend the state’s human rights and penal laws to appropriately provide protections to the Jewish community through the correct “codification of the definition of anti-Semitism.”

“Further, acts of anti-Semitism that incite, cause or result in any act of violence or injury to a person, or the damage to or destruction of real or personal property will be considered a hate crime,” said Griffo in a statement.

Noting that anti-Semitic threats, attacks and vandalism are not going away in New York and across the country, Griffo said that the legislation will provide needed additional protection to the Jewish community, ensuring that perpetrators of anti-Semitism are held accountable and face “real consequences.”

“On behalf of the Jewish Community Federation of the Mohawk Valley, I wish to thank Sen. Joseph Griffo for submitting a bill to our New York State Senate that would classify acts of violence committed against Jewish people in New York State, motivated in whole or in part by the fact that they are Jewish, as a ‘Hate Crime’ as defined by the Penal Code of New York State,” said Victor Pearlman, executive director of the Jewish Community Federation of the Mohawk Valley.

He added, “Any action our New York State government can take to curtail these horrendous acts, whose numbers have grown ‘out of control’ in recent years, is greatly appreciated. Our people have suffered terribly from acts of hate for so many years, and it is about time our State took action to curtail such behavior.”

Griffo told ABC News 10 that his legislation would define anti-Semitism so that it would be in penal law and human rights law.

“So that we can talk about what happens when we now codify what these acts of violence or threats could mean, and we now give this more of a formal definition and as a result of that there’s a consequence to this type of action,” he said.