While Jews around the world were lighting Hanukkah candles to commemorate the Hasmonean military victory, a wave of attacks targeting Jews hit New York City.
At around 11:40 AM on Monday morning, a 65-year-old Jewish man reported to New York City police that he fell to the ground after being physically assaulted by another man who punched and kicked him while yelling, “F*** you, Jew.” The assault took place on East 41st Street and 3rd Avenue. A suspect has been arrested.
Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman and the founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, told CNN the victim is an Orthodox Jew
On Monday evening at 8:40 OM, police received a call reporting an assault targeting two boys, a six-year-old and a seven-year-old, who were struck from behind in the lobby of a residential building by a group of teens.
A few hours later, at 1:40 AM on Tuesday, a group of teens on Kingston Ave., Brooklyn, yelled antisemitic slurs at a 25-year-old man. One suspect threw his drink at the victim.
On Tuesday at around 5 PM in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn, a 56-year-old Jewish man was approached by a group of people, one of whom punched him.
On Wednesday at around 1 AM, a 40-year-old man was punched in the face on 13th Avenue in Borough Park.
On Thursday, a 34-year-old woman and her 4-year-old son were exiting a Dunkin Donuts in Gravesend, Brooklyn when a woman approached them and hit the mother over the head with her bag while yelling anti-Semitic insults. A bystander followed the assailant until police were able to arrest her.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio decried anti-Semitism in a tweet.
Evan Bernstein, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New York and New Jersey released a statement decrying the attacks.
“We are appalled at the sheer frequency and aggressive nature of these incidents. They’re made particularly heinous by the fact they are occurring during a time when society is supposed to come together in peace for the holidays, and as the Jewish community is particularly on edge as it’s reeling from the deadly attack in Jersey City on Dec. 10.”
The incidents come less than two weeks after three people were murdered in a shooting in a kosher market in Jersey City by two people associated with the non-Jewish Black Hebrew Israelites.
The NY Police Department reported 166 anti-Semitic incidents from January through September this year. The vast majority are non-violent, involving vandalism such as graffiti or swastikas being scrawled on Jewish businesses or institutions that include synagogues.
Anti-Semitic incidents are the most common hate crimes reported in the city, currently comprising 53.7% of all reported hate crimes from January to September this year, according to NYPD Crime Statistics.