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New York mayor decries ‘vicious hatred’ against Jews as antisemitic attacks continue

Jewish New Yorkers attacked on Brooklyn streets for 2nd consecutive Shabbat; driver smashes windshield of Jewish school bus with children on board

Luke Tress is an editor and a reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, September 14, 2021. (Luke Tress/Flash90)
Illustrative: Ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, September 14, 2021. (Luke Tress/Flash90)

NEW YORK — New York Mayor  Eric Adams vowed Sunday to crack down on a spate of antisemitic attacks in the city after a Jewish teen was attacked in Brooklyn on Friday night, marking the second consecutive weekend that visibly Jewish New Yorkers were assaulted during Shabbat.

A man jumped out of a van and punched the Jewish boy in the face while a second man filmed the attack from inside the van, the Anti-Defamation League said.

The attack occurred at around 10:30 p.m. in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood.

Security footage showed a Jewish man and the suspect conversing on a sidewalk.

The suspect then follows the victim down a sidewalk, strikes him, then runs down the street and gets into a minivan.

The teen did not appear to be seriously hurt.

The ADL said the same suspects allegedly carried out another attempted assault in the same area.

The ADL offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Mayor Adams said the police’s hate crimes unit was investigating the attack.

“Make no mistake, an attack on our Jewish community is an attack on every New Yorker. We will catch the perpetrators of this assault,” he said.

The attack was one of several antisemitic incidents in New York in recent days.

In Queens, vandals wrote “Fuck Jews” on a dentist’s office sign over the weekend. The New York Police Department was investigating the case as a hate crime.

Adams said the incident was “disgusting anytime but it’s especially outrageous as we come to the end of Shabbos. We won’t let this vicious hatred go unanswered.”

On Sunday in Brooklyn, a driver smashed the windshield of a Jewish school bus with Hebrew writing on its side.

Security camera footage released by the Shomrim neighborhood watch group in Borough Park showed a black SUV swerving in front of the bus and stopping in a crosswalk. The driver then got out of the vehicle, ran to the bus and smashed the window. Shomrim said children were in the bus at the time of the attack.

On Sunday in Crown Heights, an assailant hit a Jewish man in the face while passing him on the street, knocking off his hat. He was detained by a volunteer patrol group and then arrested.

Saturday reports said a police crossing guard in Manhattan’s Upper West Side was fired earlier in the month for making antisemitic comments against Jewish parents and children.

“Push your Jewish kids into the street and get hit by a bus,” she told one parent, according to The New York Post.

On Thursday, police arrested a 15-year-old boy for two alleged antisemitic attacks earlier this month. He was charged with three counts of assault and two hate crimes.

Last weekend, New York police said they were investigating three alleged antisemitic attacks in Brooklyn over Shabbat. Two were physical assaults and one was antisemitic graffiti.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she had ordered state police to assist in the investigations.

A slew of anti-Jewish incidents in the New York region in recent weeks has included numerous acts of vandalism such as spray painting swastikas, verbal abuse, blasting Jews with snow, spitting on children and physical violence.

Hate crimes usually do not lead to arrests in New York. The 198 confirmed hate crimes against Jews in New York last year only resulted in 58 arrests.

Jews are targeted in hate crimes more than any other group in New York City, by far. Anti-Jewish attacks accounted for 38 percent of all confirmed hate crimes in New York City last year, according to NYPD statistics.

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