The New York Police Department is increasing its presence in several Brooklyn neighborhoods as it investigates at least nine possible anti-Semitic attacks that took place in recent days. All of the suspected hate crimes took place in Brooklyn, known for being home to a large number of Jewish residents. “Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community WILL face justice,” Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city — and we will confront it head-on.”
The most recent attacks took place Friday, when three women were reportedly slapped by another woman. When the assailant was arrested she said she slapped the women because she thought they were Jewish. Also on Friday, an unidentified man walked into the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, went up to a member fo the Hasidic community and threatened to shoot someone. On Saturday, police released video of an attack that took place on Wednesday, when a 40-year-old man was punched in the face.
A woman was charged with a hate crime Thursday after she allegedly used her bag to hit a Jewish woman in the face. On Tuesday, a total of three anti-Semitic incidents were reported. In one, an individual hit a male victim in the face. Also that day, a group of people allegedly yelled anti-Semitic slurs at a 25-year-old man and one threw a drink at him. Later, a 56-year-old man said he was punched. On Monday, a 65-year-old man told police he was punched and kicked by another man who yelled, “Fuck you, Jew.” Also on Monday, a 67-year-old man reported that a group of teenagers hit a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old boy from behind.
“It seems like it’s open season on Jews in New York City,” said Councilmember Chaim Deutsch. All these incidents are taking place around Hanukkah celebrations and mere weeks after a lethal shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City that was labeled a hate crime. These attacks also comes at the end of a year when there has been an apparent increase in crimes against the Jewish community in New York. Complaints relating to anti-Semitic hate crimes increased 18 percent this year.