New York - NY Assemblyman Calls On AG To Investigate Anti-Semitism In Hudson Valley
New York - One week after high schoolers in a Rockland County public school were shown a cartoon video that justified that the persecution of Jews, Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind has called on the state’s attorney general to form a task force to investigate anti-Semitism in the area.
The video, which was approved by the Clarkstown Central School District, was shown to three ninth grade classes in Clarkstown South High School as part of a history class.
Discussing relationships between Jews and Christians under the Roman Empire, the video described the Jews as “violent, religious extremists,” who “got what they deserved.”
In his February 4th letter to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Hikind noted that both district superintendent J. Thomas Morton and school principal Debra Tarantino have apologized for the video, which has been removed from the school’s curriculum, but questioned the wisdom of showing a video of this nature to impressionable teenagers.
Pointing to numerous incidences of anti-Semitism in both Rockland County’s East Ramapo and the villages of Kiryas Joel, Bloomingburg and Pine Bush in neighboring Orange County, Hikind called on Schneiderman to protect the rights of the Hudson Valley’s Jewish residents.
“Things like this create a new generation of anti-Semitism,” Hikind told VIN News.
“If this was an isolated incident it would be one thing, but things like this keep happening in this area. Federal judges have already ruled clearly that things are out of control in Pine Bush and Bloomingburg and when you look at the rest of the picture in the same basic area it is obvious that we need to scrutinize this anti-Semitic behavior further. There is a very serious need to have a task force look into this and see how to address it because this is not a healthy situation.”
A statement released by Evan Bernstein, New York regional director of the Anti Defamation League, said that the group was “profoundly troubled” that any educator could think that the video in question would be an appropriate teaching tool and credited the school administration for its swift and appropriate reaction to the public outcry.
State Senator David Carlucci, who has been extremely vocal in his criticisms of the largely Orthodox-run East Ramapo School Board, issued a statement saying simply that he was glad that the school apologized and that the video should not have been shown.
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