A Massachusetts mayor has condemned a series of antisemitic incidents that occurred in her city in recent weeks, Mass Live reported.
Northampton Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra referred to a Board of Health meeting where multiple attendees made antisemitic statement or held up anti-Jewish images on Zoom, including a sign that said “Jews will not replace us.” The mayor noted that flyers with antisemitic messages were also found around the city.
The incidents were “profoundly hurtful to our Jewish neighbors, and the fabric of our community,” Sciarra said in a statement at a city council meeting on Thursday. “These actions are vile, hateful, and are unwelcome in the city of Northampton.”
She continued: “While we acknowledge constitutionally protected free speech during public meetings in the city that cannot be censored, that does not mean that we do not denounce hateful and derogatory comments or images. We must speak up against the words and actions of those who sow hatred toward any group. They are a threat to the safety and peace of our community and beyond.”
Sciarra also spoke to the concern that was raised about the danger of holding remote meetings. She said that opening up remote access to public meetings expanded access but also “allowed access from anywhere and the cowardly ability to hide behind anonymity to those who seek to disrupt and spread hate.”
The mayor’s condemnation was supported by councillors at the meeting and also by state lawmakers, including State Senator Jo Comerford, who represents Northampton.
“Today, our Boards of Health is met with near-constant criticism as residents caught in the throes of an unjust, confusing, and exhausting pandemic play out their frustrations on their fellow community members,” she said in a statement.
“Lately, however, this criticism has crossed a bright line and has been marred by both violent rhetoric and antisemitic slurs. We must join together to reject such dangerous bigotry and not allow the strains of this moment to drive us to such a vile end.”
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)