NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a show of support Tuesday for the Jewish community from Attorney General William Barr.
He was in Brooklyn to talk about government action to combat antisemitism and hate-crime attacks, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.READ MORE: NYPD Says It's Listening To The Public, Trying To Bring More People Of Color Into Rank And File
Barr said his visit to the predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Borough Park was critical.
“To show very clearly and emphatically that the Department of Justice puts the highest priority on protecting the Jewish community from these acts, and from discriminatory acts as well,” Barr said.
AG Barr Meets With Jewish Leaders To Discuss Combating Antisemitism:
The attorney general met with a small select group of Jewish community leaders at Borough Park Community Council. He shared his concern for the rise in anti-Semitic crimes.
“This administration is going to have zero tolerance for this kind of violence,” Barr said.
“We look forward to the positive and meaningful outcomes from this important meeting. The ultimate goal being that we should be at the point of being proactive, not reactive going forward,” the council’s Avi Greenstein said.READ MORE: To Mask Or Not To Mask Pits The Cautious Among Us Against Those Strongly In Favor Of Personal Choice
From the recent attacks on Orthodox Jewish people in Brooklyn to the Chanukah stabbing at a rabbi’s home in upstate Monsey to the deadly shootout at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, Barr said the DOJ is working with the FBI to make sure anyone responsible for anti-Semitic crimes is brought to justice.
Federal charges have now been filed against Tiffany Harris, who was arrested for allegedly slapping three Jewish women in Crown Heights in December, and then allegedly attacking another Jewish woman after she was released.
“But I think it’s important for the federal government to plant its flag and to show zero tolerance,” Barr said.
The attorney general also sent out a written directive to all the U.S. Attorneys, telling them to reach out to the Jewish communities with a point of contact to report hate crimes, so they can be handled at the federal level if warranted.
“I feel it will leave a very deep impact, in not only in the communities that are being targeted, but also in all Jewish communities nationwide, knowing we have a partner in federal government,” Greenstein said.
Barr continued his conversation about religious tolerance in a meeting with Cardinal Dolan on Tuesday afternoon. Jewish community leaders said they’re optimistic that this is a real step in the right direction.MORE NEWS: Death Toll Climbs As Calls For An Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Go Unheeded
The group plans to meet again in six months to see if Attorney General Barr’s actions have made any progress.