NY Jewish councilwoman receives hate letter mentioning Pittsburgh shooting
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NY Jewish councilwoman receives hate letter mentioning Pittsburgh shooting

Despite feeling targeted, Karen Koslowitz says NYPD told her letter with anti-Semitic slurs is not a hate crime

Karen Koslowitz (Screen capture: YouTube)
Karen Koslowitz (Screen capture: YouTube)

A Jewish councilwoman from New York City said she received an anti-Semitic letter that made reference to the October massacre of 11 Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Karen Koslowitz, who represents a district in a borough of Queens, told The New York Post Thursday she was offended by the letter and felt personally targeted as a Jew, “especially now with everything that’s going on.”

The letter, which the Post said was replete with grammatical errors, was dated November 12 and sent to a Manhattan address where the City Council has hearings.

“You had been defending all stinky, filthy, dirty jewish population in New York City as well as the stinks mof’s living in Israel, russia, former soviet union countries, in western European and Latin American countries,” the letter read, according to the newspaper.

The letter, which was signed by a Joe Camillieri from the Forest Hills neighborhood Koslowitz represents, contained a handwritten note at the bottom referring to the October 27 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by a suspect with a history of anti-Semitic social media posts.

“What do you think about those stinky Jews killed, 11 and 4 hurt in that synagogue,” the note says. “What these motherf—–r rats are doing in other states of the USA???

A makeshift memorial stands outside the Tree of Life Synagogue in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the in Pittsburgh, October 29, 2018. (Matt Rourke/AP)

The letter also lamented that terrorist groups al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have “been unable to finish the work that was started in concentration camps in Poland and finished with these race of crooks, in israel, russia and most important here in the U.S.”

The councilwoman, who said her grandfather was murdered in 1923 in Poland because he was a Jew, said the sender of the letter appeared to attend meetings she holds with constituents.

“He knows what I talk about. I’ve been a supporter of the Bukharian Jewish community…He’s talking about meetings that I go to… It’s scary,” she told the newspaper.

Koslowitz said she informed the New York Police Department of the letter but was told it was not a hate crime.

“I’m Jewish. To me, it’s offending Jewish people,” she said. “I really feel the laws have to be changed for what they consider a hate crime.”

A NYPD spokesperson said though the letter is “vile, disgusting and reprehensible,” it did not amount to a crime.

“We will continue to monitor it,” the spokesperson said.

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