Zeldin made the argument two days after cameras caught a Jewish man being attacked on his way to a Brooklyn synagogue, a vicious act that later prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to direct state authorities to assist in the investigation.
Anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes in general have spiked this year, The New York Post reported.
Anti-Semitic assaults have increased 69%, accounting for 113 attacks this year versus last year’s 67, the Post reported, citing data from the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
On Sunday, Zeldin explained what he believes are reasons for the spike in anti-Semitic attacks.
He pointed to New York’s cashless bail law.
Hours after he was ordered to be held on bail for 42 charges, Jordan Burnette, the alleged Bronx synagogue vandal, was granted supervised release by a judge in Bronx Criminal Court, The New York Post reported, citing a spokeswoman for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
Under previous New York law, prosecutors would determine whether to make a bail recommendation or agree to have the defendant released on their own recognizance. The case judge would then make a determination. Defense attorneys would typically make arguments that bail would be inappropriate, or should be set at a low amount, which judges would take into consideration.
Under the current law, courts are now prohibited from setting any monetary bail or keeping defendants in custody before trial in almost every type of misdemeanor case, and for a long list of felonies.
Last year, New York City lawmakers voted on budget changes that shifted $ 1 billion from the New York Police Department to programs that assist in youth and community development.
The City Council said in a statement that the city’s 2021 budget will include $ 837 million in cuts and transfers to the New York Police Department (NYPD) expense budget, which removes $ 1 billion from the NYPD’s spending when combined with associated costs.
Zeldin added that another impact resulted from “local prosecutors not charging certain quality-of-life offenses.”
“Now you have criminals being emboldened where the handcuffs are on law enforcement instead of being on criminals,” he stressed.
Zeldin also explained “the other reality,” which is people expressing “what is raw anti-Semitism” or their “hate for Jews.”
He stressed that local leaders – including at the city and state levels, as well as in Congress – should publicly condemn anti-Semitism.
“Within the Democratic Party, especially right now, they need to do more to speak out against this because it’s being empowered, elevated and embraced,” Zeldin argued.
Zeldin, The House GOP Israel Caucus Co-Chairman, has repeatedly slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for her anti-Semitic comments.
Speaking on “America’s Newsroom” earlier this month, Zeldin said he believes she will continue to make anti-Semitic comments and should be removed from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
A spokesperson for Omar did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Peter Aitken and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.