Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has joined forces with his Democrats in the US Senate; namely Bob Menendez and Cory Booker in denouncing anti-Semitic hate crimes.
Christie’s speech took place in the gymnasium of the Kaplen Jewish Community Center on the Palisades in Tenafly, New Jersey. Christie was joined by Democratic representatives Bill Pascrell, Josh Gottheimer, Senate majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Bergen County executive Jim Tedesco during his rally against hate crimes directed against Jews.
The meeting occurred in response to a bomb threat that was directed at the center last Monday. This was the third of its kind for the community center this year according to the Observer.
Senator Bob Menendez masterminded the meeting, whose purpose was to congregate elected officials and a member of the New Jersey Jewish community in order to examine comparable anti-Semitic incidents and discuss how to coordinate methods of preventing them in the future, along with the possible implications that these threats may have for the New Jersey-based Jewish community at large.
The Governor told those assembled in the center that “such vile actions cannot be met with silence. It is up to all of us to stand up, stand together and speak up against anti-Semitism…anyone in this state who commits that type of crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sent to prison. If you want to be one of the 8.9 million people in New Jersey, one of the requirements is to love thy neighbor as you love yourself. We will continue to speak out against Anti-Semitism because it is baseless….but we will also speak out against other forms of hate as well.
Bob Menendez seconded Christie’s affirmations. “Such vile actions cannot be met with silence. It is up to all of us to stand up, stand together and speak up against anti-Semitism.”
To follow through with the lip service they paid on Monday, Menendez and Christie plan to allocate funds to heighten security at Jewish non-profits. Christie emphasized that there would be harsher punishments for comparable hates crimes within the State. “Anyone in this state who commits that type of crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sent to prison.”
Senator Booker also took to the stage to echo Christie’s sentiments. “The ideal for a great society is all people coming together around one table. It is the ideal for America. E Pluribus Unum. Yes, we are here as a response to hatred…but that is not the only reason we are here. We are here as an affirmation of love.”
By: Kristina Stukalenko