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Rally Against Hate and Anti-Semitism

Resolution Calling on Authorities to Do More to Prevent and Prosecute Hate Crimes Signed by Participants

Responding to two recent swastika incidents in Sheepshead Bay and a mid-February anti-Semitic outburst at a Brooklyn College Faculty Council meeting, Democratic District Leaders Ari Kagan and Margarita Kagan, whose 45th Assembly District includes one of the world’s largest populations of Holocaust survivors, and Davidzon Radio 620 AM, held a rally on Sunday morning to focus attention on the growing number of ant-Semitic and hate incidents in New York City.

Local elected officials including Public Advocate Letitia James, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Councilman Mark Treyger and Councilman Chaim Deutsch, and Haifa, Israel, Vice Mayor Yulia Shtraim addressed the over 400 gathered in front of  Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park’s headstones and eternal light.  Signs with such messages as “Never Again!,” “We Are Not Jews of Silence,” “United Against Hate” and “Stop Anti-Semitism!” were held up by members of the audience.

“These tombstones are more than just a link to the past.  They must serve as a reminder that we cannot remain silent. It is our duty as members of a free society to speak out when we learn of anti-Semitic or similar acts of hatred.  An act of anti-Semitism anywhere is wrong, but to perpetrate such acts in this beautiful community, home to so many Holocaust survivors, is horrendous,” District Leader Ari Kagan stated.

shtraim300_300 young300_300
Haifa Vice Mayor Yulia Shtraim Participants of the rally

Gregory Davidzon, President of Davidzon Radio, echoed Kagan’s sentiment warning, “If we do not continue to publicly condemn anti-Semitic acts it is tantamount to a societal stamp of approval.  While it will take much more than a rally to change the ways of those with hate in their hearts, it is important that we come together to demonstrate that we will not tolerate such abhorrent behavior in our community.”

In mid-February a Faculty Council meeting in Brooklyn College was disrupted by students demanding that “Zionists leave campus!”  Later in February, a red “KKK” and swastika were found in an elevator at 1900 Avenue W and a swastika was drawn on the windshield of a car, owned by a Jewish male, parked in front of 1901 East 19th Street.  Both swastika incidents occurred less than a mile from Holocaust Memorial Park.

District Leader
Margarita Kagan
addresses the Rally

“Our community is a healthy mix of ethnicities, religions and cultures.  Everyone gets along.  Acts of anti-Semitism have to be met with community outrage.  Potential perpetrators must know that hate has no place in our neighborhood and government leaders must know that we expect them to be proactive in preventing future hate crimes and aggressive in investigating and prosecuting when an act of hate does occur,” District Leader Margarita Kagan said.

Rally participants called on state and city authorities, as well as the CUNY administration, to take immediate actions to fight growing anti-Semitic intimidation of professors and students in city colleges and to prosecute those responsible for hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law.  A resolution was circulated at the rally and signed by most of the participants.

Oswald Heymann
Photos by Alex Rozenberg

Here are additional links with stories about the rally:

Rally to protest anti-Semitism draws hundreds

Locals gather to fight hate and anti-Semitism

Hundreds Gather At Holocaust Memorial To Rally Against Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes

Bklyn Lawmakers Lead Hundreds in Rally Against Growing Anti-Semitism


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