New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls Monsey attack at rabbi’s home ‘domestic terrorism’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks to reporters outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, NY on Dec. 29, 2019, the morning after an assailant wielding a machete entered the home and began attacking local Jews attending a Hanukkah party, leaving five injured, two seriously. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the attack at the home of a rabbi in Monsey “an act of domestic terrorism” and said that the law should reflect that.

Cuomo spoke to reporters on Sunday morning outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, the site of the attack the previous night by an assailant wielding a machete that left five injured, two in serious condition.

“I think this is an act of terrorism, I think these are domestic terrorists. They are trying to inflict fear. They are motivated by hate,” the mayor said.

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“These are terrorists in our country perpetrating terrorism on other Americans and that’s how we should treat it and that is how I want the laws in this state to treat it,” he also said.

He said he would propose a domestic terrorism law at the beginning of January in his state of the state address.

Cuomo called the hatred that motivated the violent attack a “cancer in the body politic,” saying that Saturday night’s attack was an incident in which “intolerance meets ignorance meets illegality.”

Cuomo, who said at least one of the rabbi’s sons was among the injured in the attack, met with Rottenberg at his home, and then met with other Jewish community leaders at Ramapo Town Hall.