Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County Chairman Steven Markowitz and more than 40 elected officials, religious and community leaders to announce an island-wide taskforce against anti-Semitism and symbols of hate. The announcement comes following an increase in discrimination and bigotry across Long Island including a series of disturbing incidents of vandalism containing anti-semitic and hate symbols at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.
“The acts of vandalism at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center are unacceptable forms of bigotry,” said Curran. “We may have been able to wash away the graffiti, but we cannot wash away the feelings that these symbols leave. This bi-county coalition will work to educate our communities about the negative impacts of anti-Semitism and hatred as well as stress the value of the diversity of our population. We cannot allow anti-Semitic and hateful acts, whether they come in the form of graffiti, speech, discrimination or violence, to become normalized and find comfort in our communities.”
The island-wide anti-hate initiative is intended to bring together elected officials, law enforcement and community leaders to educate young people and adults about tolerance and find solutions to end the rise of hate crimes in the region. In the coming weeks, leaders will be convening to develop a comprehensive roll-out plan for outreach and education to confront issues of discrimination, hatred and bigotry across Long Island as well as encourage the values of diversity and tolerance. The task force will aim to educate young people the value of tolerance and diversity, work closely with law enforcement to combat hate crimes, and collaborate with community groups across the island to tap into resources and audiences to help spread the message far and wide.
“Faced with these appalling anti-Semitic incidents, it’s time to stop wringing our hands and talking about coming together,” said Legislator Arnold Drucker of Plainview. “Instead, we must take decisive action. Let’s commit today to making the Holocaust a mandatory curriculum subject in our schools and redoubling our efforts to educate our adults and children so that we may instill tolerance and love into the mosaic of our communities. I applaud County Executives Curran and Bellone for their leadership and taking the initiative to eradicate hatred and anti-Semitism.”