Readers Write: Lafazan decries swastikas drawn at park

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This past Thursday, Aug. 8, Nassau County Police identified seven swastikas drawn at Theodore Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay.

This was personal for me. 

My grandfather, Boris, is a refugee of the Holocaust. This symbol brings so much pain to my family, and for so many families like mine, who suffered at the hands of its acolytes. 

First and foremost, our priority remains identifying those responsible for committing this heinous action, and ensuring that justice is quickly served.

That is why I am announcing a $20,000 reward for information that directly leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals who perpetrated these anti-Semitic acts.

If you have information, I am imploring you – please come forward and call 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

And we are so grateful that David Schwartz, Brad Gerstman, Brookville Mayor Daniel Serota, Laurel Hollow Mayor Daniel DeVita, Bayville Mayor Robert De Natale, and Bayville Trustee Bob Nigro are among those who have pledged money towards this fund.

Secondly, I want to thank the religious and civic leaders who stood with us to condemn this vile incident.

What has brought our community solace during a difficult 24 hours has been the outpouring of support we received from leaders of different faiths, and civic leaders of different communities.

Amidst the shock and sorrow from Thursday, there is something so special about living in a community where our Christian brothers and sisters, our Muslim brothers and sisters, our Jewish brothers and sisters, and those of no faith at all, all are speaking in a loud and unified voice to denounce all acts of intolerance and bigotry.

This response again showcases that this country faces two divergent paths: to ignore or to engage. In times like these, we must always choose the latter.

Lastly, we need to come together here in Nassau County.

We need citizens of good conscience to rise up and be cognizant, now more than ever, to the reality that words matter, actions matter, and more importantly, inaction matters.

So, if you hear a friend make a derogatory comment about another human being or group, speak up. If you feel that anybody needs help, speak out. And when in doubt, adhere to the words of Dr. King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Josh Lafazan

Nassau County Legislator

District 18

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