New York City police are investigating a string of possible anti-Semitic hate crimes that recently occurred over a two-day period, all during Christmas and the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah.
What are the details?
On Monday, a 65-year-old Jewish man was struck in the face and kicked while on the ground by another man, who had reportedly hurled an anti-Semitic insult at the victim before attacking. The victim, who was wearing a yarmulke at the time, suffered several cuts to his face and hand, NBC New York reported.
Soon after, Steven Jorge, 28, from Miami, Florida, was arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime.
Just a day later, on Tuesday, a 25-year-old Jewish man was harassed in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, by a large group of people. Someone in the group allegedly shouted “f*** you Jew” and threw a Slurpie drink at the man, while another group member filmed the incident as they fled the scene.
Later Tuesday night, also in the Crown Heights neighborhood, a 56-year-old man was attacked by a group of at least four men while walking down Union Street, according to WABC-TV. One of the group members allegedly struck the man in the back of the head with a closed fist. The incident was reportedly caught on surveillance video.
The fourth reported attack took place early Christmas morning, when a 40-year-old man was punched in the face by a suspect in Manhattan. The suspect then immediately fled the scene. Police say this incident is not yet being investigated as a hate crime, however.
The incidents have sparked public outcry in the city
In response to the attacks, Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter to say that “it’s not enough to condemn anti-Semitism — we have to confront it.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also responded to the attacks by condemning them.
“This horrific and cowardly act of anti-Semitism is repugnant to our values, and it’s even more despicable that it occurred over the holidays,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to NBC New York. “We have absolutely zero tolerance for bigotry and hate, and we will continue to call it out whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.”
The Anti-Defamation League is offering $ 10,000 for information regarding the Crown Heights incident in which a 56-year-old man was attacked by a group of people.
According to Haaretz, the League’s Regional Director for New York and New Jersey, Evan Bernstein, said that “enough is enough,” and that it is time to “demand meaningful change to protect the Jewish community.”
“We are appalled at the sheer frequency and aggressive nature of these incidents,” Bernstein said. “They’re made particularly heinous by the fact they are occurring during a time when society is supposed to come together in peace for the holidays, and as the Jewish community is particularly on edge as it’s reeling from the deadly attack in Jersey City on December 10th. Enough is enough; now is the time for society to come together in rejection of this hate and for public officials and community leaders to speak up, lead by example, and demand meaningful change to protect the Jewish community.”
The recent spate of attacks on Jews comes just weeks after a Jewish market in Jersey City was targeted in a violent shooting attack that left three bystanders and one police officer dead.