Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that a stabbing in a the Forshay shul that wounded five people was evidence of a “cancer in the body politic,” as he said the attack was fueled by intolerance and called it an act of domestic terrorism.
The Motzoei Shabbos stabbings come on the heels of a string of attacks targeting Jews in the region, including a massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey earlier this month. The Forshay Rebbe’s home is in Monsey, a town not far from the New Jersey state line and one of several in the Hudson Valley that has seen an influx of chareidi Jews in recent years. The Rockland County town is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of New York City.
One person was very seriously wounded, the governor told reporters, and remained in critical condition. The Rebbe’s son was also injured, Cuomo said. His status and that of the other victims was not clear.
Authorities have not provided a motive for the attack, but Cuomo said there was no doubt it was fueled by hate.
“This is an intolerant time in our country,” he said to reporters outside the Rebbe’s home on Sunday morning. “We see anger, we see hatred exploding.”
He added: “It is an American cancer on the body politic.”
He said he thought the crime was an act of domestic terrorism and expected it to be prosecuted that way.