ISRAEL (CBSNewYork) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo denounced a recent uptick in anti-Semitic attacks across the country while on a weekend trip to Israel dedicated to strengthening ties with the U.S. ally.
Before his departure, Cuomo took part in a round table discussion with Jewish leaders at the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan. He said New York will not stand for the recent surge in anti-Semitic acts.
“It’s not just anti-Semitic activity. It’s anti-Muslim, anti-African-American activity. Anger at people who are different. Different colors, different religion. It’s a social cancer for America,” Cuomo said in a statement. “You have to remember America’s premise was, we can bring people from all across the globe and forge one community. No common religion, no common race. We can form one community. So when you start to demonize differences, you’re going right at the fabric of what makes America, America. You’re going right at the fabric of what makes New York, New York.”
Cuomo said the attacks stemmed from the anger surrounding the 2016 presidential election.
“This, basically started, it was during the last presidential campaign, which was a very heated campaign. The heat comes from the anger that is in the U.S. and it is based on economic unhappiness. It is based on the threat to the security of the people of the country. And there is an anger and the anger often comes as a fear and fear can generate ugliness,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo made the remarks Sunday while announcing a new 22-member commission dedicated to strengthening economic development between New York State and Israel.
“You can’t separate New York from Israel: we share decades of mutual support, and mutual respect,” Cuomo tweeted. “Our communities cannot be pulled apart.”
Members of the panel include Mort Zukerman, owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and the U.S. News and World Report, Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Faigin, and other leaders of the Jewish community in New York State.
“It really represents I think the cross section of cultural leaders, economic leaders, and religious leaders and people familiar with New York and people familiar with Israel,” Cuomo said in a statement Sunday.
According to the Governor’s office, the panel will work together on issues like economy, trade, security, education and culture.
New York has the largest Jewish population of any city outside of Israel.
The NYPD said anti-Semitic hate crimes are up 94 percent this year. Overall in New York City, hate crimes are up 55 percent this year.
On Friday, a man in Missouri was arrested for allegedly threatening several Jewish institutions across the country, including the Anti-Defamation League headquarters in New York. He’s been charged with only a small fraction of the dozens of recent threats and anti-Semitic acts that have bubbled up in the past few months.