Nassau legislator calls for creation of task force to combat antisemitism

Originally published in News 12 Long Island on July 01, 2021.

A new plan would create a special legislative task force to combat antisemitism in Nassau County.

In response to a rise of antisemitic violence, hatred and harassment in New York, Nassau Legislator Arnold Drucker is calling for the creation of a new task force to push back.

It would be made up of 12 lawmakers and community leaders who would gather facts about the extent of antisemitism in Nassau.

The information would be used to formulate recommendations for legislative action to fight acts of intolerance.

"I am tired of attending rallies against hatred and intolerance and wringing our hands about what we can do. This bill is a start," says Drucker.

The plan comes in the wake of several incidents in the region, including a Jewish man getting beaten in Times Square, a Roslyn Harbor man accused of threatening a Jewish neighbor and Sen. Anna Kaplan receiving antisemitic mail.

"It has come to the point where some people feel unsafe wearing a Star of David in public because they feel that they will be targeted for doing so," says Avi Soussan, of New Hyde Park.

Lawmakers say residents can help by reporting antisemitic crimes.

The creation of the task force needs support from the Republican majority for passage. It is unclear when the Legislature will consider the proposal.