Deputy Senate Minority Leader Joe Griffo is calling for stronger protections for people in the Jewish Faith.

In the wake of a rash of recent crimes targeting Jewish people, Griffo is calling for the passage of his amendment to the, as he puts it, state human rights law and the penal law to properly provide protections through the appropriate codification of the definition of anti-Semitism."

Griffo says,

These deplorable threats and actions that we have witnessed in our state, country and throughout the world are reprehensible, unacceptable and inexcusable and have spread fear throughout the Jewish community. I am hopeful that this legislation I have sponsored will help to stem anti-Semitic threats and actions from occurring so that individuals and families of the Jewish faith no longer have to be afraid to practice their religion and go about their daily lives.

Griffo's amendment was initially introduced towards the end of the 2019 legislative session and was referred to the Senate’s Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

Over the weekend in Rockland County, New York a man with a machete entered a rabbi's home and injured five people. He was arrested hours later. Griffo believes attacks and crimes like this should not continue. He believes the current law is not doing enough and Oneida County DA Scott McNamara agrees. He says,

The current laws are lacking when it comes to holding those who encourage anti-Semitic violence. If enacted into law, this bill would allow prosecutors to better hold accountable those who incite violence against people of the Jewish faith.

If Griffo's amendment passes it would make any act of anti-Semitism that incites, causes or results in any act of violence, or injury to a person, or the damage to or destruction of real or personal property a hate crime.