New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday slammed an incident on Saturday in which antisemitic vandals knocked over a large public Hanukkah menorah that was installed at an intersection in Queens, New York.
Hochul said in a tweet, “Jewish New Yorkers should be able to celebrate Hanukkah without being subjected to acts of antisemitic hate.
“I have directed the NYS Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation of this disturbing act against our Jewish neighbors,” she added.
Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Yerachmiel Zalmanov, who heads Chabad of Eastern Queens and who erected the menorah, reported the incident to NYPD.
In 2014, a similar incident occurred at the same location, on Union Turnpike and 220th Street. No arrests were ever made in that case.
Democratic Queens State Assemblyman David Weprin told reporters Tuesday the menorah was knocked into the road. Most of the lights on the menorah were broken by the vandals.
On Saturday 11/27 – one day before Chanukah – the large menorah at Union Tpke and 220 St was knocked down and its lights broken.
Chanukah is a time of peace and joy. I gathered with civic and religious leaders today to state that no acts of anti-Semitism will ever be tolerated! pic.twitter.com/GJTahvmKuF
— David Weprin (@DavidWeprin) November 30, 2021
“Chanukah is a time of peace and joy. No acts of vandalism or anti-Semitism will ever be tolerated,” Weprin said in a statement.
“Each incident is dehumanizing and a repugnant stain on our community. We are watching. The hard-working members of law enforcement are watching. And this community — where we always have each other’s backs — is watching,” he added.
The New York – New Jersey Anti-Defamation League (ADL) “strongly condemned” the vandalism, saying Hanukkah should be about “celebration, not destruction.”