The New York City Council has passed a resolution to recognize April 29 as “End Jew Hatred Day” each year. The move comes as officials try to combat the regular occurrence of anti-Semitic incidents in the city. While 41 members of the City Council voted in favor of the measure, two voted against it, and four abstained, leading to criticism from Jewish advocates.
Jewish Brooklyn Republican Inna Vernikov, who sponsored the resolution, cited data from the Anti-Defamation League showing that anti-Semitic crimes in the US are at an all-time high, and that New York City sees regular incidents. She said that the resolution was intended to send a message to the city’s Jews that “we set aside political differences to end Jew hatred because we all agree that anti-Semitism is unacceptable.”
However, the resolution was not supported by all council members. Progressive Brooklyn Democrat Shahana Hanif voted against it, arguing that it was sponsored by “far right-wing organizations and right-wing Islamophobic individuals.” She claimed that these groups had not stood up for other communities, such as Muslims and trans New Yorkers. Hanif has remained consistent in her hatred of Israel and the Jewish victims of terror. While bombs were raining down on civilian populations from Hamas militants in Gaza, then-Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang tweeted his support, to which Hanif replied, “To the people of Palestine, today and always, I stand with you. The New York I know condemns state-sanctioned violence and displacement of Palestinians.” When the bombs fall on Jews, she supports the bombers.
Another Brooklyn Democrat, Charles Barron, abstained from the vote, criticizing the “inconsistency of members of the Jewish community, particularly its leadership, in speaking out against hatred, like hatred of the Palestinian people, like the State of Israel murdering Palestinian women and children and stealing the land.” Barron also accused Jewish community leaders of supporting apartheid in South Africa.
This is not Barron’s first foray into Jew-hatred. His views on the Jewish people are not dissimilar to the opinions expressed by Kanye West during his manic-depressive-induced rants, yet Barron has gotten away with them since 2001. Barron has a history (according to the Anti-Defamation League) of associating with anti-Semitic hate groups and promoting extreme anti-Israel positions that demonize the Jewish state. He has made several accusations against Jews and the Jewish state, including that it should never have been created and that Blacks, not Jews, are the “real” Semites. Barron has also publicly praised brutal international dictators such as Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi and Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe, who has violently suppressed political opposition and repressed the white minority in his country. Throughout his political career, Barron has maintained close ties to radical groups like the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), the largest organized black militant hate group in the United States.
Last month, the NYPD reported 32 anti-Jewish hate crimes, and 61 have been reported since the start of the year. In 2022, 263 hate crimes targeting Jews were reported to the police in New York City, equating to an average of one anti-Semitic incident in the city every 33 hours. Many attacks likely go unreported, according to Jewish security groups.
One high-profile case of Jew hatred received a modicum of justice, despite Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s best efforts. Joseph Borgen, who was beaten on the street by six Muslim men for the crime of wearing a yarmulka and going to a pro-Israel rally, has been waiting for almost two years for his attackers to be tried for their crimes. In January, Bragg offered a six-month plea deal so ludicrous that the judge threw it out. On April 25, Waseem Awawdeh pled guilty to one count of Assault in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. He was sentenced to a total of 18 months in prison. He was lucky not to have gotten ten years.
For several years, hardly a month has gone by without vicious anti-Semitism occurring within New York City. Platitudes about ending Jew hatred and slaps on the wrists for Jew-beaters are not going to make that go away (although the efforts made by Councilwoman Vernikov are vital). To end anti-Semitism, the whole city must have its crime reduced and its criminals punished. Jews are the canaries in the coal mine; if things are bad, we’re the first to find out. The answer is not to put up a sign in the canary cage reading “End Canary Suffocation.” The answer is to properly ventilate the mine.
New York City is on its last legs of the Giuliani wave that began in 1994. For nearly three decades, the policies implemented then have kept crime at a reduced rate and has reset the statistics significantly. Leaders like de Blasio and Bragg, along with many sitting members of the New York City Council, have done and are doing everything in their power to undo the progress made in keeping all New Yorkers safe. If they succeed, all New Yorkers will be in peril, but Jews will be the first to know. So, when New York begins to take crime seriously again, that’s when we’ll know if it takes Jew hatred seriously.
Moshe Hill is a political columnist and Senior Fellow at Amariah, an America First Zionist organization. Moshe has a weekly column in the Queens Jewish Link, and has been published in Daily Wire, CNS News, and other outlets. You can follow Moshe on his blog www.aHillwithaView.com, facebook.com/aHillwithaView, and twitter.com/HillWithView. A Hill With a View is now on YouTube! Subscribe today to get the latest content. Just search “A Hill with a View” to get started. Get A Hill with a View directly to your inbox! Text HILLVIEW to 22828 to sign up to the newsletter.