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Cuomo: Boost security at religious schools after threats

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo addresses the increase in

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo addresses the increase in hate crimes in the state at Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Photo Credit: Office of Governor / Darren McGee

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday proposed that the state spend $25 million more for security and safety measures at religious schools in the face of what he called hate, ignorance and cowardice directed at Jewish institutions on Long Island and across the state.

“There is a rash of anti-Semitic activity that is going on, not just in New York but all across the nation and also in Canada,” Cuomo told the Orthodox Union Student Rally in Albany.

He never mentioned President Donald Trump, Trump’s hard-line immigration policies or his support by some members of white nationalist groups. Cuomo’s commitment to more security at schools follows his January action in which he created a special unit in the State Police to investigate a spike in hate crimes after Trump was elected.

“If anything, it’s getting worse, not better,” Cuomo said of hatred directed at Jews and others. “The old equation still exists: Anger plus ignorance equals ugliness . . . that’s what we’re seeing now.”

“People are angry at their job situation . . . at threats they see from other countries,” Cuomo said. “You put that together, you get the . . . meanness and the cowardice. It is repugnant to everything we believe in, in New York.”

“With this ugliness that is going on, it is our obligation to stand up and speak loudly against it,” Cuomo said.

No explosives were found after the recent threats made to several Jewish centers, including those in Plainview, Staten Island, New Rochelle and Tarrytown. Nassau and Suffolk police have intensified patrols at Jewish institutions.

Similar threats were made Monday against Jewish centers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Indiana, Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina and Florida. It was the fifth time Jewish centers have been targeted nationwide this year.

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