Anti-Semitic violence in the New York area has been largely ignored by the national media, President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka claimed Sunday, hours after an attack on a Monsey synagogue left five Hasidic Jews wounded.
In a tweet Sunday, Ivanka Trump condemned the attack on a Monsey synagogue during the Hanukkah festival as “pure evil”.
“The vicious attack of a rabbi in Monsey, NY last night was an act of pure evil. As we pray for the victims, may the candles of Chanukah burn bright through this darkness.”
Trump added that the attack capped off a string of violent assaults on Jews in the greater New York City area, and accused the national media outlets – as well as local government officials – of largely ignoring the trend.
“Attacks on Jewish New Yorkers were reported almost every single day this past week. The increasing frequency of anti-Semitic violence in New York (and around the country) receives far too little local governmental action and national press attention.”
Earlier on Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the attack as an act of domestic “terrorism”.
“This is intolerance meets ignorance meets illegality,” Cuomo said while visiting the home of Rabbi Chaim Ruttenburg, whose synagogue was targeted in the attack. “This is an intolerant time in this country.
“We see anger and hatred exploded. It is an American cancer in the body politic.”
The governor also called the attack an act of domestic terrorism, adding that he expected it to prosecuted as such.
“This is an act of terrorism. I think these are domestic terrorists. They are trying to inflict fear.”
Five people were wounded in the machete attack, which took place at approximately 9:50 p.m. Saturday, while congregants gathered a Hasidic synagogue operated by Rabbi Rottenburg in Monsey, New York.
Of the five victims wounded in the attack, two were originally listed in critical condition. Subsequent reports indicate only one is in critical condition, after suffering a head wound during the attack.
Some 50 to 60 people had gathered to light Hanukkah candles to mark the seventh night of Hannukah, when the assailant, who was covering his face with a scarf, burst into the synagogue brandishing a machete, and began stabbing congregants.
Some congregants hurled chairs and a small table at the assailant, forcing him to flee.
The attacker drove off, making his way to New York City.
Police found him roughly two hours later, at around midnight, after identifying his car via the license plate number.
The assailant has been identified as 37-year-old Greenwood Lake, New York resident Thomas Grafton.
He is expected to face five charges of attempted murder, and one charge of burglary.