Community Leaders Condemn Attacks on Jewish Men

Following two assaults in the past week against Jewish men in Brooklyn, public officials condemned the attacks.

The Anti-Defamation League’s New York/New Jersey regional director told The Jewish Week’s Steve Lipman that while the two incidents were not related, they appear to be part of a larger trend of anti-Semitic acts in the state “since the [2016] election season.”

Bernstein said the increase – 12 anti-Semitic assaults in the state so far this year, compared with 11 in all of 2017 — reflects the tension evident in many parts of American society as a result of polarization of people on various parts of the political spectrum.

“It’s a continuation. It’s not going away,” he said. “My fear is that anti-Semitic assaults become ‘normalized’ like swastikas,” which are scrawled and sprayed on Jewish sites in increasing numbers, drawing less attention from the public and politicians.

Nine of the dozen assaults in the state this year took place in Brooklyn, home to most of New York State’s Orthodox Jews, Bernstein said.

Local leaders announced hate crime bills would be introduced in the City Council, reports Andrea Leonhardt for BK Reader.

The first bill would require the five NYC District Attorneys to report to the council on the motives of hate crime perpetrators.

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A second bill would direct the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to initiate an educational unit to educate young people about the impact of hateful symbols and internalized bigotry.

Council members Chaim Deutsch, Jumaane Williams and Alicka Ampry-Samuel joined other local officials and an interfaith group of community leaders to denounce the attacks.

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