By Gregg McQueen
A united front.
Black and Jewish community leaders and elected officials gathered in solidarity on Monday to express unity in the wake of an anti-Semitic hate crime in a Rockland County.
On Saturday evening, December 28, a machete-wielding man injured five people after entering a rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration in the town of Monsey, located about 25 miles from New York City. It capped a week during which featured several other incidents in the city, which are being investigated as hate crimes.
At a press conference at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, Reverend Al Sharpton, who organized the gathering, said it was important for the black community to speak out against anti-Semitism the same as it would against attacks on blacks.
“We cannot remain silent as we see a consistent pattern of attacks against people based on their faith and based on who they are,” remarked Sharpton.
“You can’t fight hate against you unless you’re willing to fight hate against everyone else,” he said. “You cannot be anti-hate and pro-civil rights only one way.”
Noting that black suspects have been charged with several recent anti-Semitic attacks, including the one in Monsey, Sharpton said the black community must denounce the crimes to avoid reviving old tensions between blacks and Jews in New York City.