Vandals draw swastikas on school playground in New York City
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Vandals draw swastikas on school playground in New York City

Anti-Semitic incident comes amid surge in hate crimes in the city, especially attacks targeting Jews

Illustrative: Swastikas found drawn on an elementary school playground in Queens, New York, February 22, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)
Illustrative: Swastikas found drawn on an elementary school playground in Queens, New York, February 22, 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

Vandals drew dozens of swastikas on an elementary school playground in New York City overnight Thursday.

The anti-Semitic graffiti, which included the words “Heil Hitler,” was found early Friday morning in the Rego Park neighborhood in the borough of Queens.

School staff removed the drawings and called the police, the Ynet news site reported.

The school was closed for vacation but the playground was open to the public.

“This is terrible anti-Semitism. This is a neighborhood with a lot of Jews who are proud of their Judaism and don’t hide it. It’s terrible that something like this is happening in New York,” Idan Shefi, an Israeli who lives near the school, told Ynet.

The incident comes amid a surge in hate crimes in New York City, especially attacks against Jews. The 55 hate crimes in the city so far this year represent a 72 percent increase over the same period last year, with close to two-thirds of the attacks this year targeting Jews, the New York Times reported on Monday.

In 2018, New York saw more hate crimes against Jews than all other targeted groups combined, with 183 anti-Semitic incidents, according to police figures.

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