Statement of Ronald G. Weiner, President and Michael S. Miller and Executive Vice President and CEO Jewish Community Relations Council of NY
Yesterday’s ultimate sacrifices by Police Officer Wenjian Liu and Police Officer Rafael Ramos were an all-too poignant reminder of the courage and professionalism demanded of every member of the NYPD when they put on their uniform and go out to protect the communities that they serve. We join in the grief felt by their immediate families and that is shared by every one of their brothers and sisters in blue.
The callous execution of these two officers was an outrageous attack on every value that we hold dear. In this atmosphere of heated rhetoric we should all remember two important principles: words do matter and can have ominous consequences and most significantly, the lives of all, do matter.
The JCRC-NY announced a fund to benefit the families of the two officers brutally murdered on Saturday. Miller explained, “This horrible and tragic event affected all New Yorkers. Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos made the ultimate sacrifice. We hope that people will join us in our wish to assist their families as they try to rebuild their lives. In this small way we can honor their service and the dedication and courage of all of the men and women of the NYPD.”
The JCRC-NY will transmit 100% of the proceeds to the Silver Shield Foundation, which has been helping the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty since 1982, as its conduit. It was initially established by the Steinbrenner family.
The Jewish Community Council of New York (JCRC-NY) is horrified by the assault on Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director of Kings Bay YM-YWHA, on October 7, 2014 outside of the Barclays Center, after a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to freedom of speech. However, under no circumstances does the Constitution grant the right to engage in violence against individuals with whom one disagrees , regardless of the emotions that may surround personal, local, national, or global issues.
JCRC-NY will not stand idly by and permit rank bias and hatred against Jews — or other groups — to become normative in the City of New York. Indeed, we have no tolerance for intolerance and remain all the more committed to fostering harmony among the diverse population that resides in the metropolitan area.
It’s reassuring that the brutal attack on Mr. Petlakh is being actively and aggressively investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. We look forward to an expeditious arrest of the perpetrator(s) of this heinous crime and expect that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
We wish Leonard and his family well and remain disturbed that his two young children witnessed this attack on their father. It is our hope that the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator(s) will achieve some measure of justice for them all.
Anyone with information about this assault should contact NYPD Crimestoppers at 1-(800) 577-TIPS. Your identity and information will be kept anonymous.
On the eve of the opening of the general debate of the 2014 United Nations General Assembly, New York political and community leaders gathered at a press conference to call on world leaders to confront the widespread rise of terrorism in the Middle East by both terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terror, most notably Iran.
With Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the sole representative of these terror groups, at the UNGA, assembled officials demanded that the United Nations fulfill its mission and protect citizens everywhere against the grave threats posed by these violent organizations and regimes that have no respect for basic human rights.
Over the past several months, the combined threat from terror groups and state sponsors of terror across the region has generated an enormous human rights crisis and prevented any attempt at creating democratic opportunities for millions of innocent people. ISIS’s rapid expansion and brutal acts of violence are a global threat and promise to destabilize any peaceful progress in the region’s most war-torn countries. Hamas demonstrated brazen willingness to carry out terror attacks against Israel through the use of underground tunnels and rocket attacks using schools, civilians and children as shields. The al-Nusra Front engages in kidnapping of Christians and U.N. peacekeepers to further its goals. Hezbollah continues to undermine the stability of Lebanon, while simultaneously waging war inside Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. And Iran, the preeminent state sponsor of terror, has publicly flaunted its wide-ranging support for Hamas and Hezbollah, increased its employment of executions and harsh prison sentences for political prisoners, and has taken no real steps to curb its nuclear ambitions or abide by international monitoring deadlines.
Congressmember Jerrold Nadler
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney
Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
Assemblymember David Weprin
New York City Councilmember Mark Levine
Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Co-Chair, Iran180
Elizabeth Velez, Co-Chair, Iran180
Linda Mirels, Chair of the Board, UJA-Federation of New York
Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO, JCRC-NY
While acknowledging the MTA’s decision, based on a past federal court ruling, that the placement of the AFDI ads in the New York transit system is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution, nonetheless, we find the ads’ content to be dangerously inflammatory and decidedly prejudiced. The broad mainstream of the New York Jewish community does not see the despicable and horrific actions of terrorist organizations as justification of intolerance towards all Muslims or their faith. We will continue our work of rejecting stereotypes and working with leaders of the Muslim and other faith and ethnic communities within the demographic diversity of New York to strengthen the communal collective and improve the quality of life for all.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) lauded Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed “Dignity for All Students” law. The proposal would require all public schools to notify the State Education Department (SED), the Division of Human Rights and the State Police if there is a pattern of discrimination or harassment, and to take steps to remedy the situation.
Michael S. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO of JCRC-NY explained, “Governor Cuomo described his proposal as having two critical elements: building community and justice. The Governor spoke movingly of the rights of students to attend school without the fear of discrimination or harassment and he recommended concrete, statutory changes that will give state agencies the power to intervene to protect those being victimized. He clearly understands the problem and, once again, this initiative demonstrates his tremendous leadership.”
Michael Miller attended the Governor’s State of the State Address in Albany and had the opportunity to personally thank the Governor for his words and deeds.