The Upper East Side’s Jewish community is reeling after a vandal or vandals targeted the office of incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island).
Staffers found white paint thrown across the front windows of her office and a note slipped under the door featuring antisemitic and misogynistic language Tuesday morning. Some believe it was a response to a panel she hosted on the world’s oldest hatred.
“We will never be intimidated by this criminal act. We have called for a hate crimes investigation,” Seawright and her team said. “We stand before you today to denounce this disgraceful and hateful crime. We will remain vigilant,”
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Upper East Side, Queens, Brooklyn) offered perhaps the strongest voice of solidarity.
“Anti-Semitism, or hatred of any kind, has no place in New York City,” she said. “Unfortunately, this incident is part of an alarming spike of hate crimes and rhetoric throughout New York City and our nation.”
Despite these shows of support, Seawright, who was disqualified from running as a Democrat on the November ballot due to filing errors, faces challengers for her seat that are less willing to support the neighborhood’s Jews.
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) activist Patrick Bobilin (I) tweeted words of support. When this reporter asked him to elaborate on what he would do to combat antisemitism, he insisted on treating it the same way as any other bigotry. He cited his organization of the anti-Proud Boy protest at the Metropolitan Republican Club, whose support included Eli Valley, an ethnically Jewish cartoonist with controversial views on Israel and American Jews.
“Our elected officials show up when there’s anti-Semitic graffiti but not when there are white nationalist violence and white nationalist organizing happening under our noses,”said Bobilin. “Personally, I believe we can only end injustice by dismantling institutional inequality like what we find in the carceral justice system, as replacing systems like that with compassionate and restorative justice can bring us to that great ideal of a world where violent bigotry doesn’t exist. As a legislator, I will use my platform to promote actions like last year’s protest against a former paid AfD consultant while supporting anti-domestic terrorism laws that call the virus of white nationalism by its proper name and treat it like the public health emergency that it is.”
Bobilin declined to comment on the DSA’s recent support for cancelling the Anti-Defamation League, saying that his thoughts “might be better answered by DSA leadership.”
Local doorman Lou Puliafito (R), Seawright’s other challenger, took to Twitter to condemn the attack.
“Hate is not acceptable period,” he wrote. “I ask the @NYPD19Pct to please obtain and post the video of this crime online in hope of catching these perpetrator(s).”