Dov Hikind

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Dov Hikind
Hikind.jpg
Dov Hikind
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 48th district
Assumed office
January 1983
Preceded by Samuel Hirsch
Personal details
Born (1950-06-30) June 30, 1950 (age 67)
Brooklyn, New York City
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Shoshana Hikind
Children Deena, Yoni, Shmuel
Residence Brooklyn, New York City
Occupation Assemblyman

Dov Hikind (born June 30, 1950) is an American politician in the state of New York. He is a Democratic New York State Assemblyman representing Brooklyn's Assembly district 48, having held this position since 1983. Hikind has been a vocal supporter of racial profiling targeting Muslims, arguing that it helps to prevent terrorism.[1] He also opposes antisemitism in his district, which includes Borough Park, home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel.

In addition to being a state Assemblyman, Hikind hosts a weekly radio show in New York City.

Background and family[edit]

Hikind grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His father was a devout follower of the Vizhnitz Hasidic dynasty.[2]

He is married and has three children - Yoni, Shmuel, and Deena. Yoni and Shmuel both work as LMSW's in the Jewish community in Brooklyn.

Politics[edit]

Hikind is a conservative Democrat. He endorsed Michael Bloomberg for mayor the first two times, but endorsed Bill Thompson for Mayor in 2009.[3] Hikind has broken ranks with his party before, most notably in his endorsement of Republican candidates George Pataki for governor in 1994, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney for president. His endorsements have drawn criticism from Democratic voters who question his political stance as Hikind has grown increasingly conservative. Hikind has been a guest in many right-wing radio shows.[4]

His rightward tilt appears to reflect the increasingly conservative bent of his district. Although Democrats have a large majority in registration, it is one of the most conservative districts in New York City. Hikind believes that the national party has moved too far to the left, particularly on social issues, for the liking of many of his constituents.[5] For instance, it gave Donald Trump 69 percent of the vote in 2016, his second-best showing in the entire state; only the Staten Island-based 62nd Assembly District gave him a higher percentage of the vote. In 2012, it gave Romney 75 percent of the vote, his best showing in the state.[6]

Hikind expressed interest in the special election for the New York's 9th congressional district seat vacated by Anthony Weiner; Hikind did not expect the Democrats to nominate him and considered running as a Republican.[7]

Views on issues[edit]

Racial profiling[edit]

Hikind has urged the New York Police Department to implement a policy of racial profiling in subway bag searches, which would affect individuals who appear to be Muslim. He held up photos of Muslim men at a news conference and said: "The individuals involved [in terrorism] basically look like this. Why must police think twice before examining people of a particular group?" [8] Hikind defends this policy on the grounds that it would work far more effectively to combat terrorism than the current policy, instituted in 2004, which uses random bag searches.

Searches based on racial profiling have been called racist and demeaning by civil rights groups. The NYPD released a statement against Hikind's proposal of racial profiling, saying that "Racial profiling is illegal, of doubtful effectiveness, and against department policy".[9]

Subway security[edit]

He was responsible for bringing the allocation of $1.2 million in a project that helped to provide 120 closed-circuit television cameras to nine South Brooklyn subway stations. These funds, which would provide camera security in contrast to many other stations in the five boroughs, were granted because the neighborhoods they were installed in, that being Borough Park, Midwood, Kensington, and Parkville, all had large Jewish populations, and Hikind said the project was prompted by "concerns that the Jewish community would be targeted" by terrorists.[10] Hikind encouraged politicians to do the same in other subway stations, which now lag behind those of his community. A New York Times article revealed that the MTA had granted close to $600 million in funds for security to stations in New York City in late 2002; however, only a small fraction of it had been used productively by 2005.[11]

The Passion of the Christ[edit]

In 2003, Hikind and a group of supporters protested Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ. He led about 50 Jewish leaders and supporters to the Fox News offices in Manhattan in a demonstration, chanting "The Passion is a lethal weapon against Jews."[12] Hikind was vocal in his anger against the movie, stating: "It will result in anti-Semitism and bigotry. It really takes us back to the Dark Ages ... the Inquisition, the Crusades, all for the so-called sin of the Crucifixion of Jesus."'[13]

Yassir Arafat[edit]

In 2001, Dov Hikind argued that Madame Tussauds Wax Museum should remove its wax statue of the Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat, claiming that he was a terrorist whose image should not be in New York.[14]

Zionism[edit]

As the son of Holocaust survivors, Hikind considers his parents' experience to be an important component of his Zionist views. Hikind was a follower[15] of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane's Jewish Defense League, which has been identified as "a right wing terrorist group" by the FBI,[16] knew Rabbi Kahane very well, and is active in right-wing Jewish causes. Among his early activities were demonstrations demanding the right to emigrate for Soviet and Syrian Jews. In the summer of 2005, Hikind visited the settlements of Gush Katif to express his concern for the residents who were slated to be expelled from the Gaza Strip. In the summer of 2006, along with a group of fellow legislators and community leaders, Hikind visited northern Israeli communities during the time of the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel. He and his group spent the time there distributing funds and material aid.[citation needed]

United Nations[edit]

Hikind is part of a group of New York state legislators that has consistently blocked plans to renovate United Nations headquarters, calling the UN anti-American and anti-Israel.[17]

Hikind blasted President Barack Obama for allowing the passage of an anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations Security Council on December 23, 2016 calling the UN a 'Cesspool'.[18]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

After voting against a same-sex marriage bill in the New York State Assembly, Hikind claimed that same-sex marriage can lead to the acceptance of incest, maintaining that, "If we authorize gay marriage in the state of New York, those who want to live and love incestuously will be five steps closer to achieving their goals as well."[19] On June 15, 2011, after the New York State Assembly passed a bill to legalize gay marriage, Hikind said gay marriage is wrong in the eyes of God.[20]

Views on a criminal incident[edit]

Hikind voiced support for five Jewish teenagers who were charged with hate crimes for allegedly beating a Muslim man while shouting racial slurs at him. Hikind insisted that it was actually the victim who provoked the teenagers.[21] The Muslim community later organized an event that emphasized unity, and invited Hikind to the gathering.[21]

David Irving letter[edit]

On October 20, 2009, at the insistence of Hikind and twelve other New York State and City officeholders, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, American Express rescinded its Merchants Agreement with prominent Holocaust denier David Irving.[22]

Legal issues[edit]

Federal investigation[edit]

Hikind was charged by federal authorities after multiple Jewish organizations were charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funds which were supposed to be used for children's services.[23] Some of this money, investigators maintained, was used to pay for Hikind's personal expenses. According to documents, the organizations' funds were diverted to pay for Hikind's trip to Israel, and the school tuition for his daughter and niece.[23] The United States Attorney in Brooklyn charged Hikind and several other defendants with various felonies and misdemeanors in connection with the investigation. Hikind was acquitted of all charges by a jury.[24]

Controversy[edit]

Black Face Purim Costume[edit]

On February 25, 2013, it was revealed that Hikind appeared in blackface at a Purim event the previous weekend, saying 'I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players',[25] further saying 'I can’t imagine anyone getting offended.' The next day, Hikind appeared on a local radio show hosted by Zev Brenner, during which he condemned the reaction to his costume, and asked if it would be acceptable for him to dress up as a "gay man" next year.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://observer.com/2009/12/hikind-renews-call-for-terror-suspect-profiling/
  2. ^ Ami Magazine (100): 57. Dec/26/12.  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ McIntire, Mike. "Mayor's Campaign Follows Jewish Voters to the Catskills". New York Times, August 1, 2005; p. B4
  4. ^ "Dov Hikind's regeneration by James Bradley" Archived December 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Neuman, William (2016-11-11). "In Democratic Stronghold of New York City, Trump Finds Support Among Orthodox Jews". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Daily Kos database of election data
  7. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (2011-06-20). Extras Archived March 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. State of Politics. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
  8. ^ Getlin, Josh (August 14, 2005). "Complaints on NYC subway searches grow". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Pol: Use Racial Profiling on Subways". Fox News. October 6, 2005. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Chan, Sewell. "Metro Briefing New York: Brooklyn: Security Cameras In Stations." New York Times. Jun 2, 2005 . pg. B.8
  11. ^ Chan, Sewell; Fahim, Kareem. "M.T.A. Slow to Spend Money on Transit Security" New York Times. Jul 9, 2005. pg. A.1
  12. ^ Trotta, Liz. "Jewish leaders condemn film: Call Gibson's movie on Christ's crucifixion anti-Semitic.", Washington Times; p. A14 (August 29, 2003)
  13. ^ "Fox passes on Gibson's The Passion". Los Angeles Times. 2004-10-22. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  14. ^ Haberman, Clyde. "Offense Taken To Extremes On Our Behalf." New York Times (May 19, 2001), p. B1
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  16. ^ "FBI, Terrorism 2000/2001". Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  17. ^ "UN Takes A Beating", The Jewish Week, December 17, 2004
  18. ^ "Assemblyman Hikind: Obama is a hero to the terrorists". Arutz Sheva. December 30, 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  19. ^ Paybarah, Azi (2007-06-22). "Hikind Responds: Why Not Incest?". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  20. ^ "NY Assembly passes gay marriage as expected". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press. 2011-06-15. [dead link]
  21. ^ a b "Jewish-Muslim Incident Rocks Ethnic Balance" Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Siemaszko, Corky. "American Express says Holocaust denier David Irving's no 'merchant', thanks to Assemblyman Hikind". Archived October 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. New York Daily News. October 21, 2009; retrieved 2009-11-24.
  23. ^ a b Fried, Joseph P. (1997-08-05). "U.S. Attorney Is Considering Indictment Of Dov Hikind". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  24. ^ "Jury Acquits Assemblyman Hikind of Corruption Charges"[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Walker, Hunter. "Dov Hikind Parties Down for Purim in ‘Black Basketball Player’ Costume". Politicker. Observer.com. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  26. ^ Rosenberg, Shmarya. "Hikind Condemns "Jerk Reaction" To Blackface Costume, Says Maybe Next Year, He'll Dress As A Gay Man". Retrieved 26 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Samuel Hirsch
New York State Assembly
48th District

1983–present
Incumbent