Jewish leaders and advocacy organizations have warmly welcomed the opening of a new office in New York City to combat the rising tide of antisemitic and racist hate crimes.
“We welcome the creation of the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes and we hope it will stem the tide of increased acts against Jews and others,” Arthur Stark, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said in a statement on Wednesday. ” The sharp increase in bias incidents in recent years, particularly of antisemitic crimes, requires a coordinated approach to maximize the resources available from all facets of law enforcement to prosecutors to the educational system to the voluntary sector.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the hire of the executive director of the new office, Deborah Lauter, on Tuesday. A Jewish organizational veteran who spent the last 18 years with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Lauter’s appointment won plaudits from Jewish commentators and leaders on social media.
At her first press conference on Tuesday, Lauter seemed to correct de Blasio’s controversial claim in June that antisemitism was a right-wing movement only.
“He’s correct to say there are threats that come from the right wing. There are also threats that come from the left,” Lauter said.