UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) — As antisemitic attacks have reportedly taken place with increased frequency in cities throughout the nation, upstate New York state Sen. Joseph Griffo is advocating for legislation he has introduced that would provide more protection against anti-Semitism in New York.
Incidents have included an assault on a Jewish man in Times Square, synagogues vandalized in Arizona, Illinois, and New York State, and Jewish diners targeted at a Los Angeles restaurant.
Griffo says his bill would amend state human rights law and the penal law to properly provide protections through the appropriate codification of the definition of anti-Semitism. Further, acts of antisemitism that incite, cause, or result in any act of violence or injury to a person, or the damage to or destruction of real or personal property will be considered a hate crime.
“This legislation would essentially now define anti-Semitism so that it is now both in the penal law and a human rights law,” Griffo said. “So that we can talk about what happens when we now codify what these acts of violence or threats could mean, and we now give this more of a formal definition and as a result of that there’s a consequence to this type of action.”
Sen. Griffo’s legislation is in the senate’s investigations and government operations committee.