The stabbing attack Saturday evening at a rabbi’s home in Rockland County has led Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call for a new domestic terrorism charge in New York.
The attack left five people wounded at the home of a Monsey rabbi as people were celebrating the seventh night of Chanukah.
A Harlem man was later arrested and turned over to authorities in Rockland County.
The attacks come amid a broader concern over the rise of anti-Semitism and attacks aimed at Jewish people in New York and around the country.
“Yes it’s ignorant, yes it’s intolerant — it’s also illegal. And we will enforce the law. We’re going to have an increase in police presence,” the governor said on Sunday morning. “We have the toughest hate crime laws in the United States of America and we are going to enforce them to the full extent of the law.”
But Cuomo added the law should go further in prosecuting hate crimes directed religious groups.
“This is terrorism. It is domestic terrorism. These are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence, generate fear based on race, color, creed,” Cuomo said.
“That is the definition of terrorism, and just because they don’t come from another country doesn’t mean that they’re not terrorists – and they should be prosecuted as domestic terrorists because that’s what they are. And I want this state to be the first state to have a domestic terrorism law to express how ignorant this is, how intolerant it is and how criminal it is. And I’ll be proposing that law for this state.”
Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address on Jan. 8 outlining his agenda for the 2020 legislative session.