ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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NYPD reports 31 antisemitic incidents in January, as post-October 7 surge continues

Number of incidents down over past two months relative to initial spike after Hamas attack, but are far higher than a year ago

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

Police separate Israel supporters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Times Square, New York City, October 13, 2023. (Luke Tress via New York Jewish Week via JTA)
Police separate Israel supporters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Times Square, New York City, October 13, 2023. (Luke Tress via New York Jewish Week via JTA)

New York Jewish Week via JTA — The NYPD reported 31 antisemitic hate crimes in January, as a surge in anti-Jewish incidents continued four months after Hamas’s October 7 invasion of Israel and the ensuing outbreak of war.

Since the start of October, there have been 193 antisemitic incidents reported to police, nearly double the 100 incidents reported during the same four-month period last year.

Antisemitic incidents spiked immediately after October 7, with 69 reported in October and 62 in November. The rate has declined since then, with 31 incidents reported to police in both December and January.

January’s figure was far higher than the same period last year, however, when police recorded 17 antisemitic incidents. If not for the spike in Jewish incidents, the rate of hate crimes in the city would have declined slightly year over year.

Hate crimes targeting Jews accounted for 69 percent of the 45 total bias incidents in the city last month. There were also three crimes targeting Black New Yorkers, two motivated by sexual orientation, three motivated by “religion,” one anti-Hispanic incident, one motivated by gender and none against Muslims.

There were 325 total anti-Jewish hate crimes reported to police in 2023, far more than against any other group, according to a compilation of monthly police data. The figure amounts to nearly one antisemitic incident per day. Jewish community groups said many incidents likely do not get reported to police.

Not every reported hate crime results in an arrest, and numbers can be revised following the initial tally.

Several incidents that occurred in the weeks after October 7 are being pursued by prosecutors, including one in which a suspect allegedly punched a Jewish Israeli near Times Square while shouting antisemitic epithets, and another involving a 19-year-old who was charged with attacking an Israeli student with a stick on the Columbia University campus.

Other recent incidents have included threats against synagogues and graffiti against elected officials and art galleries.

Such crimes can take years to prosecute. Last week, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office sentenced the last of five attackers in the assault on Joey Borgen in 2021 connected to a previous Israel-Hamas conflict, after a legal saga that drew widespread attention to antisemitic crimes on city streets.

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