Confederate Battle Flag Found Tied to Front Door of Museum of Jewish Heritage
The front doors of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where a Confederate flag was found on Friday morning.
The “stars and bars” standard flown by the army of the Confederate States of America, as they battled to preserve slavery during the Civil War, was found tied to the front door of Battery Park City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage (MJH) on Friday morning.
While this connection between the Civil War and the Holocaust may not be obvious, the Anti-Defamation League, which has as its mission, “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” classifies the Confederate flag as, “a potent symbol of slavery and white supremacy, which has caused it to be very popular among white supremacists in the 20th and 21st centuries.” Such groups (among them, factions as old the Ku Klux Klan and as new as the Proud Boys) are known to revile Jews with nearly as much venom as they reserve for African-Americans.
This overlap became explicit during last week’s riot at the United States Capitol, during which far-right extremists carried Confederate flags, while also wearing hats and sweatshirts emblazoned with the words, “Camp Auschwitz.” Others wore shirts bearing the abbreviation, “6MWE,” which telegraphs the message, “6 Million Weren’t Enough.”
In this context, the decision to affix a Confederate flag to the front door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage (a memorial to the Holocaust, which Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes denies ever happened) can be understood to fall somewhere between a deliberate attempt to inflict grave offense and an overt threat of violence.
In response, MJH president and chief executive officer Jack Kliger said, “early this morning a Confederate flag was tied to the front door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. We have filed a police report and are working with authorities to identify the individual or individuals responsible for this crime.”
“This is an atrocious attack on our community and on our institution,” he continued, “and must be met with the swift and forceful response by law enforcement. The Confederate flag is a potent symbol of white supremacy, as evidenced by the events at the U.S. Capitol this week.”
“Such hate has now arrived at our doorstep, just steps away from a train car which once transported Jews to the Auschwitz death camp,” he continued, in a reference to the freight wagon, used during World War Two to convey Jews to their deaths, and now on loan from the Auschwitz Museum in Poland, as part of the current MJH exhibit, “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away.”
Rioters at the U.S. Capitol last week flew Confederate flags and wore paraphernalia emblazoned with anti-Semitic slogans.
“These horrific acts of emboldened anti-Semitism must end now,” Mr. Kliger concluded.
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou said, “What was done to the Museum this morning is unequivocally a horrendous anti-Semitic hate attack to inflict terror and pain on our community. The Confederate flag has been adopted as a disgusting symbol for white supremacy and white nationalism by extremist terrorist groups. Just days ago, domestic terrorists carried similar flags and came upon our nation’s capitol to lay siege and terrorize our democracy. The placing of the flag was clearly meant to traumatize a community that has already experienced the agony and trauma of one of the most horrific atrocities in history.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo remarked that, “the Confederate flag is a repulsive symbol of hate, and I am disgusted by reports that someone attempted to intimidate our Jewish neighbors by tying one to the door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. As we saw earlier this week, when hate-filled mobs stormed our nation’s Capitol, violent white supremacists have been emboldened by Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric—but we will not let them succeed. In New York, we will always defend against crimes that target New Yorkers for who they are or what they believe, and I am immediately directing the New York Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance in this investigation.”
The NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
In response, Lower Manhattan resident Ruth MacQuiddy organized a Saturday vigil outside the Museum’s front door, which drew a small but impassioned crowd, despite the bitter cold. Ms. MacQuiddy explained that she called for the event, “to protest yesterday’s hateful act in our community,” and because she wanted, “to be a voice for our Downtown community in support of our Jewish neighbors and friends, and all peoples targeted by white supremacists.”
1) 17 Battery Place, application for renovation of existing entry and storefront including replacement of entrance infill and new louvers – Resolution
Appeals Court Upholds Order Delaying Move of Homeless Men to FiDi
On Tuesday, a five-judge panel of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division affirmed an earlier ruling (issued on December 3), which has the effect of halting once again the planned transfer of more than 200 men from the Lucerne Hotel, on the Upper West Side, to the Radisson Wall Street Hotel, located at 52 William Street. This order amounts to a partial victory for both sides in the lawsuit, granting some of what opponents of the plan were seeking, while also allowing the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio limited latitude to begin implementing its proposal on a smaller scale than originally envisioned.
The dead menhaden fish that bobbed at the surface of the water off Lower Manhattan and throughout the Hudson-Raritan Estuary and Long Island Sound during the month of December are gone now. But the concern remains. What killed the fish?
Scientists in the region are putting forth theories. To read more…
To the editor:
I read Can Anybody Spare $100,000 Per Month?(BroadsheetDAILY January 6) with interest; thanks, Matthew Fenton.
While I support and encourage the effort, thanks to Daniel and John for your advancing this; I think it has been tried before, and as is typical in government, it dragged on for what seemed like forever, and the outcome—well-intended I am sure—fell far short of what was desired and needed; but better than nothing.
The reality is the Battery Park City Authority should come up with a mechanism for buildings to purchase the land they are on. Whether the Authority could act as a lender is a question, but that might have considerable benefits to all.
The ability to own the land would provide buildings with many more options than they have now, ability to borrow being the greatest one. Buildings, the present asset, depreciate, but the land generally increases in value. Clearly a financial analysis would need to take place, but the ten times the annual ground lease paid in 2020 is a great start. If the buildings could get a mortgage through the Authority, and borrowing based on appraised value, the boards could also assess future capital needs and borrow appropriately.
While I get the challenges with the facilities fee and generally throughout the city the parks and facilities are paid for through taxes; the attention to the Battery Park space used to be better than it is now. Patrols in the community were also more effective as was compliance and enforcement of the rules. The level of engagement and quality of this service was reduced when the function was outsourced. When services deteriorate, folk start to wonder and question if they are getting their money’s worth and not sure we are. If it takes an additional fee to improve and enhance, with input from the community, real input, I for one would be OK with that. The improve and enhance is very important; the community deserves that.
Extending the ground leases should not be an option as it will simply perpetuate the existing challenge and push bad news forward, never a good idea. Allowing the buildings and property owners to purchase the land should be the objective. Coming up with a lending facility and package based on many or most buildings wanting to proceed this way could also be a benefit. Long term, the enhanced ability to borrow would be a big plus, especially as the buildings age and there is a need for capital projects to be completed.
As for property taxes, assess and tax, based on the process throughout the City eliminating the PILOT.
The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority is a New York State public benefit corporation and Battery Park City has been the cash cow and funding source for City Hall and Albany for a long time. We are supporting a duplicate “government” (the Authority) and while I am sure they are well intended, do the appointees really serve us well? There is a very material staff that in the overall scheme of things is probably much larger than would would be needed under a new model. The undertaking is material and needs to be taken to Albany, as that is where the decisions will be made.
The Battery Alliance needs the support of the community. Let’s hope we can get it right.
Can Anybody Spare $100,000 Per Month?
CB1 Discussion Tonight Will Review Skyrocketing Costs of Home Ownership in Battery Park City
On Wednesday, January 6 the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 hosted a discussion about affordability for condominium owners, for whom the cost of owning a home in the neighborhood is becoming increasingly prohibitive. .
The discussionl featured a presentation by a new grassroots organization, the Battery Alliance, which was recently founded by longtime residents Daniel Akkerman and John Dellaportas, both of whom serve on the boards of their condominiums (Hudson View West and Liberty House, respectively). Their organization can be found online at SaveBPC.org, and contacted via email at Info@savebpc.org. To read more…
Architects Propose to Reclaim Park Tribeca Lost Nearly a Century Ago
Community Board 1 (CB1) is supporting a plan to create a new park in Tribeca, within the Holland Tunnel Rotary, the six-acre asphalt gyre of exit ramps that connects traffic from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan’s street grid.
The husband-and-wife architecture team of Dasha Khapalova and Peter Ballman are proposing to create a constellation of small, street-level parks at the corners of the complex (bounded by Hudson, Laight, and Varick Street, as well as Ericson Place) which will double as entry points for a new, submerged central plaza. This plaza is anachronously known as St. John’s Park, although it has not been a publicly accessible space since the Holland Tunnel opened, 94 years ago.
A Leader Who Presided Over Transformational Times in Lower Manhattan Passes from the Scene
Anthony Notaro, a Lower Manhattan community leader for decades and chair of Community Board 1 (CB1) from 2016 to 2020, died on December 30, after a years-long battle with cancer. He was 69 years old. A resident of Battery Park City since the late 1990s, Mr. Notaro joined CB1 shortly after moving to Lower Manhattan. To read more…
Eyes to the Sky
January 4 – 17, 2021
Early nightfall and late sunup beckon to stargazers before days lengthen
The last of the longest nights of the year are bookended by planet Venus taking final bows in early morning twilight in the southeast and planets Jupiter and Saturn poised at the edge of the southwest skyline in afternoon dusk. The latest sunrises of the year – 7:20am through January 10 – and early sunsets, around 4:40pm, motivate this stargazer to greet starry skies, mostly in short jaunts or from a window or balcony, during morning darkness and half-light, 6am to 6:50am, and in the afternoon from just after 5pm – 5:40. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
1935 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
532 – Nika riots in Constantinople: A quarrel between supporters of different chariot teams—the Blues and the Greens—in the Hippodrome escalates into violence.
630 – Conquest of Mecca: The prophet Muhammad and his followers conquer the city, Quraysh surrender.
1693 – A powerful earthquake destroys parts of Sicily and Malta.
1759 – In Philadelphia, the first American life insurance company is incorporated.
1787 – William Herschel discovers Titania and Oberon, two moons of Uranus.
1908 – Grand Canyon National Monument is created.
1922 – First use of insulin to treat diabetes in a human patient.
1935 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
1943 – Italian-American anarchist Carlo Tresca is assassinated in New York City
1961 – Throgs Neck Bridge over the East River, linking New York City’s boroughs of The Bronx and Queens, opens to road traffic.
1964 – Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., publishes the landmark report Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.
Treasury (d. 1804)
1870 – Alexander Stirling Calder, American sculptor and educator (d. 1945)
1906 – Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist and academic, discoverer of LSD (d. 2008)
1923 – Carroll Shelby, race car driver, engineer, and businessman, (d. 2012)
1546 – Gaudenzio Ferrari, Italian painter and sculptor (b. c. 1471)
1791 – William Williams Pantycelyn, Welsh composer and poet (b. 1717)
1843 – Francis Scott Key, American lawyer, author, and songwriter (b. 1779)
1928 – Thomas Hardy, English novelist and poet (b. 1840)
1966 – Alberto Giacometti, Swiss sculptor and painter (b. 1901)
1980 – Barbara Pym, English author (b. 1913)
2008 – Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer (b. 1919)