Show of Solidarity After Recent Antisemitism Rhetoric

NEWBURGH – Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-104) gathered at Newburgh City Hall Thursday with regional elected officials and faith leaders to express solidarity after a spate of recent racist and antisemitic activities in the City of Newburgh, including the widespread appearance of swastikas and a misleading flyer and social media graphic depicting Mayor Torrance Harvey—who is Black—meeting with local Hasidic landlords.

Jacobson said, “There is no place in our political discourse or in our culture in Newburgh, New York State or the nation, for anti-Semitism and racism. There is no place for hate speech. It is wrong and un-American. There is no excuse whatsoever.

NYS Senator Rob Rolison offers remarks during the press conference, as Mayor Harvey, right, and NYS Assemblyman Jacobson, left, look on.
NYS Senator Rob Rolison offers remarks during the press conference, as Mayor Harvey, right, and NYS Assemblyman Jacobson, left, look on.

“Meeting with landlords who operate in the City of Newburgh is part of a Mayor’s roles and responsibilities. It’s disappointing and unfortunate that a handful of anonymous individuals are twisting an innocent photo to incite animosity between the Black and Jewish communities.

“That is why I have invited elected officials and faith leaders from around the region to stand with me today to condemn this hate. Like us, the vast majority of residents stand together in solidarity with one another and their neighbors—regardless of race or faith. Those responsible are malicious cowards and we say ‘no more!’” Jacobson concluded.

Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) said, “Hate speech is on the rise throughout our country because far too many so-called leaders have engaged in the practice themselves or stood by silently as it occurred. We are here to unequivocally denounce the recent anti-Semitic and racist activities and, in one unified voice across party lines, demand that all people, faiths, and races be respected.”

“The events of the past week are nothing short of antisemitic and antithetical to our values” said Assemblymember Eachus (D-New Windsor). “As the representative of one of the fastest growing Jewish populations in the state, I unfortunately know the increasing hatred and violence this community faces. Silence in the face of such vitriol is akin to acceptance, and I am proud to stand united with my fellow Hudson Valley Representatives to say with one strong voice that hate has no place here.”

City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey said, “We have challenges but we can craft positive solutions to our challenges. Racism and antisemitism have no place in American culture. I have fought my entire life for equal rights and against discrimination in any form. We stand together, shoulder to shoulder, in unity against hatred. In August of 1963, sixty years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech, because he dreamed of a day when black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics would join hands in the spirit of brotherly love. Today, we stand on the bedrock of those words.”

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