Cardinal Dolan Condemns ‘Sickening’ Attacks on Jews

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, speaks to reporters during a news conference in New York, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Dolan helped to announce a new program intended to provide reconciliation and compensation for victims of sexual abuse by clergy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan condemned the recent string of attacks against Jewish people in New York, following a machete stabbing spree that left five people injured during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home on Saturday night.

“The news of last night’s attack at the home of a Jewish family in Monsey, New York, is the latest in a series of sickening acts of violence against our Jewish brothers and sisters,” Cardinal Dolan said in a statement.

“Such acts must be condemned completely and without reservation as totally contrary to everything that people of faith stand for,” he said.

Over 100 people had gathered at Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home in the New York suburb of Monsey to celebrate the seventh night of Hanukkah when suspect Grafton Thomas, 38, allegedly broke into the home around 10:00 p.m. wielding a machete.

Five people were injured in the attack, including the rabbi’s son, and two of them were wounded critically. The suspect was covered in blood when officers arrested him but in his appearance in Ramapo Town Court, he denied the charges.

Thomas’ friend Taleea Collins and his pastor Wendy Paige said the suspect has struggled with mental illness.

In his statement, Cardinal Dolan said that an attack on one group is an attack on all.

“An attack on any individual or group because of his or her religious beliefs is an attack on us all.  This hatred has no place in our city, state, or nation, or anywhere else on our planet,” he said.

“At my Sunday Mass this morning, I prayed in a special way in solidarity with the victims of these heinous acts of violence, and urge all people to come together in a spirit of unity to reject such hatred and bigotry wherever it occurs,” Dolan concluded.

Saturday’s violence is the latest in a series of antisemitic attacks that have taken place in New York in recent weeks.

Thomas was taken to Rockland County Jail where he is being held on $5 million bail.

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