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November 27, 2015 11:25 am

Former NYPD Jewish Cop Reveals ‘Hard to Listen to’ Recordings of Antisemitic Abuse From Fellow Officers

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Former NYPD officer David Attali's vandalized locker. Photo: ABC/Screenshot.

Former NYPD officer David Attali’s vandalized locker. Photo: ABC/Screenshot.

A Jewish New York Police Department officer who was forced to quit his job  — after a request for a transfer to another department was denied by his superiors – released recordings of the relentless antisemitic abuse he suffered from fellow officers, ABC News show “The Investigators” reported this week.

David Attali, a six-year veteran of the NYPD with the World Trade Center Command, told ABC that the slurs he received began to escalate from jokes about Jews to constant references to the “good job” Hitler did.

Attali, originally from Israel, said he initially tried to ignore the incessant barbs, many of which were voiced in front of supervisors.

“Certain officers will come in, regardless of who is standing there, sergeant, lieutenant, not referring to me as David,” but rather “dirty Jew.”

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Another commonplace greeting Attali recounted he would receive was, “I should throw you in an oven.”

When Attali’s request to be transferred to another command was denied, he decided to begin recording his fellow officers.

This week, Attali went public with the tapes for the first time on “The Investigators,” whose anchor called them “hard to listen to.”

The following are examples of the kind of comments to which he was subjected on a daily basis:

Police officer (in fake German accent): “Do you want to go to this camp for the summer?”
Attali: “Why?”
Police officer: “Oh, you will lose so much weight, you’ll be in the best shape of your life.”
Attali: “How so?”
Police officer: “It’s a concentration camp.”

Police officer: “Think about it. Where do Jews with ADD get sent?”
Attali: “Where?”
Police officer: “Concentration camps.”

“You smell like (expletive) and fish,” one officer told him. “You smell like Gefilte (expletive).”

Officer No. 1: “I hate that haircut.”
Attali: “Want me to shave my head?”
Officer No. 1: “I want to push you into an oven and (expletive) burn.”
Officer No. 2: “I want to tattoo a number on you.”
Officer No. 3: “DKS7741, step up, breathe in this tube. And, oh wait, he died, surprise, surprise.”

Attali said that his locker was also a target, with antisemitic slogans and photos – such as a supermarket ad for pork — being plastered in it by coworkers.

He eventually filed a complaint with the NYPD Office of Equal Employment, which concluded that though his locker had been vandalized, his allegations of verbal harassment were unsubstantiated.

“It was too much for me,” Attali said, bemoaning how his dream job had turned into his worst nightmare. “That’s it, I’m done. I’m out… I really had no option.”

Since quitting the force, Attali has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the NYPD and nine officers. His lawyer, Rocco Avallone, told ABC that his client “had to quit. He was what we call constructively discharged. They basically forced him to quit once the transfer got denied.”

The NYPD says it is conducting an internal investigation into this case, and disciplinary charges have been filed against three officers.

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  • Rec 101

    Never read as much as BS as this. Oy vey.

  • buzz alpert

    I was the chairman of Chicago’s Jewish Defense League for 10 of its 10 1/2 years and I worked very closely with Chicago’s undercover police unit. The first time we fought the neo-Nazis the Sgt. I worked with told me the guys in the unit were surprised and I asked why. He said by the way I fought. Again I asked why and he said because I was polite, quiet, nice to everyone and so on. I smiled and said most people think kindness is weakness. So sad, but the Irish Catholic officers, with only one exception out of many, supported us and stuck by us. They weren’t good, they were great. We helped them and they helped us. The FBI was mean and vicious and they went after us with a vengeance and I wrote letters to senators and congressmen and drove them nuts. The only laws we broke in Chicago was fighting in the streets, nothing else and the FBI had no jurisdiction over that. Such matters belonged to the Chicago cops and they had to take us into custody after some big brawls, but all charges were dropped every single time. We never once fought with the police. I am not doubting that there may have been some guys in the unit who didn’t like Jews, but if there were the leadership put a lid on it and nothing was ever said. There was real trust between us. It is a shame what happened in New York to the Jewish officer, but many forget that cops are people with all the same hates and loves of everyone else. Hate is a sickness and is very contagious.

    Two things in my life have given me inordinate pride. The first was when I enlisted in the Marines as a private after graduating from a Big Ten school. I declined an offer to apply for jet fighter pilot school and remained in the ranks, rising eventually to buck sgt. After a few haters said some evil stuff and wound up on their butts, it stopped. I also stopped a pending attack on the only Black guy in my training platoon. Sometimes one person can make a difference. The other thing that I was proud of was my years in the Jewish Defense League. Our members helped a lot of people I gave many lectures and we raised money that way and kept our dues low. Chicago’s Jewish establishment hated us and did everything they could with their powerful influence to have us arrested, but it didn’t work and the Chicago cops refused to cooperate and the undercover unit stood by us. It was my impression that many of them had dads and uncles who fought the Nazis and they didn’t like the neo-Nazis either. The powerful lawyers and politicians said awful things in the press about us, but we kept to our purpose.

    This year I just found out for the 1st time why Frank Collin, the neo-Nazi with a Jewish father who had been in Dachau, never went to Skokie, IL with the largest gathering of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel. A former Illinois senator who was part of the FBI/Nazi negotiations revealed that Collin ‘begged’ him to find an alternate site to demonstrate because he said the JDL would kill him if went to Skokie. Even though the Supreme Court said he could go after David Goldberger, the Jew who defended the Nazis from the ACLU, got him the green light Collin was terrified of being killed by our people. It was very satisfying to know that we made a small contribution to the effort to keep the Nazis out of Skokie. Many survivors told me they were coming with guns, unlike what they did in the 1940’s. 14 suburban Chicago police depts, the national guard, the ATF, the FBI, the local Skokie Police and federal marshalls were assigned to guard the Nazis so protesters would not harm them–and they chickened out. Skokie’s mayor, the late Albert Smith and a righteous Christian was totally on the side of the JDL. He did not want Nazis in Skokie, but the Supreme Court had the last word. In Europe they could not have marched, but in America it is allowed.

    More Christians died in the Holocaust than Jews, but Hitler’s main thrust was the Jews. I have never given a lecture when I didn’t stress that 11 million unarmed civilians died in Hitler’s death machines. My late friend, Simon Wiesenthal heard me speak and he told me he always spoke the same words. We became best of friends. No matter how many good things we do in this world we will always be hated. I am personally grateful to the many Christians who today accept the Jewish people as brothers and sisters and support the existence of Israel. G-d bless them.

    • The NYPD is becoming something that should be taken over federally. Being Jewish this is a disgrace but why am I not surprised. In the last 6 months the favors for sex by high ranking offiers. The fact they fight with the Fire dept on the football field. Another NYPD cop who had an assault charge now with DWI. The NYPD with Bratton and his dept are sick and so is the Union jerks.

  • michelle kahn

    Wordsof a wise friend of mine + a fewof my own…antisemitism will only cease in the time of Moshiach. We,the Jewish nation, whereverwe are in the world, must set the example by doing good deeds and be a light to the nations. Sad….but true….

  • Jerry

    Much to my surprise, how come Obama did not weigh in to these terrible slurs and graffiti? I guess Jews do not matter, right? or, could it be that weighing in would be beneath him?

  • Annie

    There is a possibility of gang related crime . This will certainly bring a harsher sentence. Antisemitism is a crime according to American Law and is illegal. Verbal abuse , emotional abuse, intimidation, bullying and threats also are.
    I hope Attali will sue them in civil and criminal courts and gets a lavish settlement. I also hope that the officers and their superiors will be banned from the police force, as they are in breach of public trust. Discrimination based on religion and /or nationality is illegal, as is bullying. We wish Attali strength, perseverance, and success. As for the Nazis sympathizers in the police force they will get what they all got, just look of what happened to Germans during and after the war:still paying the retributions and live in fear for upcoming justice for their heinous crimes, still on the run , generations painted in blood. Is this the future Jews haters want? They tried it all:reverse psychology, killings, threats , politics, mass murders. And all failed.
    What does it tell all of us? Get on with the program. Give up your evil. They can not defeat life. Period.life live Israel
    Prosperous and beautiful as the life itself.

    • Milhouse

      Antisemitism is NOT a crime according to American Law and is perfectly legal. It CAN’T be a crime, because it’s protected by the first amendment.

  • I am very disappointed about this type of conduct displayed by fellow officers…what a waste of time and energy, however I am not surprised. You cannot control people, places and things. Let the investigation proceed and call the nine officers out (they know better!) and let the process reward the innocent. As the saying goes ignorance is bliss on one hand and devastating on the other end.

    Peace.

  • Jeffrey Justin

    I am shocked by the racist comments used to describe the NYPD ,THE SAME POLICE WHO STAND OUT SIDE MY SYNAGOGUE EVERY SHABBOS ! The hypocracy of people who use the same language to describe Christians ,Muslims and Jews who don’t agree with thier narrow minded comments expressed by many of the people ,discussing this subject of some members of the NYPD . These are the same Police who protect yeshivas ,Jewish centers and houses of worship. I am not justifying the treatment of one Jewish police officer by his fellow officers ,but I don’t paint everyone in the NYPD with the same brush of anti-Semitism ,as the rotten apples who exist in every ethnic group,there is no better example than the comments in many of the articles and comments in this very Internet news source . As New Yorkers ,especially Jewish New Yorkers we live in a bubble of security ,in the safest city in the world for Jews. Who is responsible for our freedoms ,the NYPD . This reminds me of the misognist way female police officers experienced in the past and present

  • abe luber

    i can by law knock out any person if they say anything. and i get tax free money if i do . i have won a case @200,000,000.00/month for life. TAX FREE

  • Rodeojones

    All the anti cop and police generalizations are no different the what this man went through for being Jewish. Calling cops pigs and other names is no different.

    That being said I am A Police Officer and find the comments disgusting and hope all the officers are fired and the city of New York is sued if the allegations are true. I have not seen the show.

  • F Callen

    Israel doesn’t need police officers?

    • Christine

      Why would you say that? That’s seriously not OK. How would it sound if you said it to someone from any other place?Mexico, China, Ireland? Why is it less bigoted and unacceptable to say it about someone from Israel?

  • Celeste

    They should sue those police for those cruel names it’s not fair for anyone to be made fun of for who they are, it’s not funny what happened to the Jews before it wasn’t something that should be made fun of at all because those people suffered so much that it’s no joke.

  • simcha

    Internal investigation? Oh like it will penetrate the blue wall….its a joke

  • a yid

    New York’s Finest…..? Feel terrible for this man. I wonder if it is throughout the whole force? Maybe he would be best moving to Israel. I hope he will heal and have a good life. And I hope the bastards that did this, every last one of them will be brought to justice.

  • marlene

    This is why they call them PIGS! I trust Officer Attali continues to hold these pigs accountable and not only wins his case against them, but receives an enormous settlement that allows him to find employment with human beings. I also hope every one of these pigs are fired! A police officer’s job is dangerous and his life depends on fellow officers who have his back. If they don’t, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – attempt to murder with deliberate intent. In this case, the mayor, police commissioner and police captain should ALL be named in this lawsuit. By the way, I believe that civil suits can also be brought against each individual pig, since Attali has documented evidence. I pray his lawyer is up to the challenge.

  • Dov

    They are going to cover it up, which they are experts in. The law is made only for those who can’t cover up the violations. Shame on the Dept and shame on the city.

  • Geoffrey Gilbert

    I would like to say that the nypd are a disgrace to policing. As are the officers involved.

  • Frank C.

    New York’s Finest, everybody.

  • i cant believe it, one of my closest friends a police sgt. was irish i knew about 70 years. he had so many jewish friends.it must be different breed of cops in n.y.i knew jewish cops who were friends and they never heard that kind of talk.

  • art frank

    The scumbag anti-Semites reflect the centuries old Jew hatred directly attributed to the criminal organization called the roman catholic church. The Jew hatred has been handed down from generation to generation.

    • Barry Appleby

      Well, in actual fact the Jewish communities in both Eire
      and Northern Ireland have historically not experienced a great deal of anti-Semitism. I have met many Irish people in the UK and they did not seem anti-Semitic either, porbably since they were discriminated against
      themselves when they came to the UK to find work.

      The effect of the 9/11 outrage and the subsequent escalation of a climate of fear by the USA government to garner support for its “war on terrorism” and create support for acceptance of the abrogation of “due process” and the endorsement of “indefinite detention” of persons handed over to US forces who status has not been clearly proven and the refusal to try these persons in civil courts and not military tribunals, reflect the high level of psychosis and psychotic behaviour on the part of both the police and armed civilians who cite “stand your ground” as a defense for shooting dead a unarmed person perceived as a threat although “stand your ground” was devised
      as a means of allow a householder to use force in the
      event of a ‘home invasion’ and not in the context of
      shooting somebody dead in movie theater for the crime
      of texting or at a petrol station for playing lound music in a car. One of the more recents victims of the informal shout to kill police culture that is being
      tacitly accepted was a child armed only with a toy gun. I do not recall reading so many reports about so many such police shootings prior to 9/11. 9/11 has also led to an acceptance of racist views and the acceptance of such lies as the involvement of Mossad. We read more and frequently about ISIS being a creation of Mossad since it is called The Israel Secret Intelligence Service which can be turned into the identical acronym ISIS. Our Neo-Nazis in the UK frequently make the claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank despite the fact that the population is constantly rising, and they clearly have links with the many US-based Neo Nazis including the infamous David Duke, who now disseminates his views via the Internet. It is ironic that the UK, which is far more conservative in many respects than the USA, has become a society whose capital city is home to people from all over the world and one where 300 languages are in daily use. A Latvian colleague of mine and fellow translator is now dating a Cuban woman he met at a conference in German, A Czech colleage had a Spanish boyfriend. A British daughter to a working-class father is married to a German and lives with him and their children in Germany, despite the fact that the memories of WW2 are still much alive here. The police are generally not armed and there are only somewhat less than 6,000 trained firearms officers in the whole of the UK.

  • Michael Levy

    Attali should have posed the question to them as to whether they would have spoken to Jesus (the Jew) in the same fashion if he was a member of the NYPD with them!!

  • montlasky

    The old adage refers here: I you are not a Jew your are an anti Semite.So sad

    • Barry Appleby

      No he wasn’t. Just look at the medieval paintings.
      Can’t you see that he’s Irish!

  • Joel

    Suddenly it’s ok. Where’s deBlasio’s condemnation or is he part of the problem

  • golum

    ????

  • Alba

    No Surprise!
    In my own experience, it is VERY common in NYC public offices for Jews to be insulted by coworkers and discriminated by supervisors!
    The most vulgarly hostile toward Jews are Italians and Poles, followed by Irish and Blacks.
    I have heard things that, were they said to a Black, would grant federal law-suits and loss of job.

  • Peter

    The officers involved should be ashamed of themselves. So many Americans died in WW2 fighting against the Nazis and to joke that way is an insult to them and their Jewish comrade. So uncalled for.

  • Greg Malakoff

    I can’t prove this, but I’m sure any Jewish kid growing up in NY faced that. At least I did since I was 12. The worst was when I was in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets. We did boot camp at the U.S. Orlando, FL training center with the regulars. The Drill Instructor hated Jews and so did the entire base. I slept in the ventilator shafts at night to avoid being attacked by gangs. That was 1969. I wonder if things changed at all now that Muslims are actually doing things that people might take offense to. I say might, because liberals are busy defending them. Honor killings, hanging gays, not a problem for a liberal if a Muslim is doing it. I’d suspect if a Jew were to kill one in self defense there would be a Muslim Lives Matters movement.

  • Joy D. Brower

    I was shocked to read about this – especially in this super-charged atmosphere of cops being vilified by the Black community. And living in NYC, how can cops be this stupid and this insensitive? Am I’m blind or stupid? But I’ve never heard of such allegations in today’s world – esp. in NYC!!

  • Carol

    I’m in my 80’s, grew up in New York, experiencing all to -similar comments. Sometimes the attacks were not only verbal, but often physical. Bullying was another technique. The great state hasn’t changed much. Today the obnoxious behavior would not be tolerated if it were the undocumented, people of peace, and the folks who were enslaved.

    Let it be known, some of my comments are said with distaste, all around.

  • susan

    He should call the Mark Levin show and let the 7 million listeners here this. 1-877-381-3811 and then he should pack it in and move back home to Israel.

    • susan

      mistake — hear, not here

    • Joseph Beneliezer

      Mark Levin and the rest of you should pack your belongings, sell your property, get the Hell out and come home to Israel.
      That’s what I did after I graduated from high school in 1975 and I’ve made a good life here in Israel. So can you!

  • rbockman

    It happens, I was a fireman in a major East Coast city fire department, I heard it often, ie. “you’re the best Jew we’ve got”, along with oven jokes, of course, I was the only one they had. I lived with it, because I needed the job.

  • jeremy

    As a bystander I have experienced this anti-Semitism from NYPD cops many times too.

    I’ve never recorded it.

    Many are also very pro-Islamist.

    • jeremy

      I was beaten as a teen multiple times by cops for being Jewish, and since no one believed me when I told them, I just stop mentioning it or caring about it, it was just a fact of life I would have to keep to myself.

      Like 99.9999 percent of anti-Semitism Jews have had doled out to them, society including more successful Jews have found a way not to deny but to actually steal and reverse, on us.

  • Robert Anderson

    I’m frankly amazed that people today would stoop so low as to make the statements these officers did. That the statements were made by fellow police officers is way beyond the pale. The police have enough to be concerned about from the general public as they do battle with criminals; to have to be harassed by your fellow officers is beyond sick. I hope Officer Attali finds employment with agency or company that will appreciate him for all that he’s worth, which is no doubt a lot. I hope he, his family and his friends do not begin to believe that such attitudes by the other officers is shared by any but a small minority of people. I’m an attorney in California; I hope he is phenomenally successful in his litigation…if it were in California, I’d consider it a great honor to vindicate his name and reputation. May G-D bless him!

  • Disgusting. But if the anti-religious comments were against a Muslim, there would be hell to pay with accusations of islamophobia, required sensitivity training, and CAIR and all of the other support groups pointing out “another instance of islamophobia” and how we need laws to prevent free speech.

  • Fred

    The Police are human dregs who have no respect for their fellow officers who happened to be Jews. One can see now that what is happening in the USA where the population has got the same feeling , blacks specially. The police culture is akin to the storm troupers, they having lost the respect of the US public. No surprise.

  • RC

    The NYPD–has a very low standard for its officers. They typically are poorly educated and trained.

  • Hunter Field

    Those officers should be fired immediately. There is no room for this type of harassment should not be tolerated anywhere, let alone in the NYPD. Disgraceful.

  • Dennis

    Do those morons think WWII was just about Jews? 60+ million died thanks to Hitler and Hirohito.

  • Francis Figliola

    Disgusting behavior. Good job for exposing the behavior for all to see. Hopefully discipline will be meted out.

  • Phyllis

    This abhorent behavior
    Shame on them
    They should have been fired

  • Dennis

    Hopefully some of those mighty NYPD officers and supervisors will be looking for night shift security jobs at the local sausage shops.

  • brenrod

    where are the names of the police who did this?

  • Daniel

    If these hateful comments had been hurled at a black or Muslim cop, it would be all over the NY Times and CNN. There would be protests in the street, labeling all cops as racists and demanding justice. Obama would also feel the need to chime in and call for a federal investigation. But it was just a Jew. Even worse, an Israeli Jew. So, go back to your regularly scheduled programming. Nothing to see here…

  • scared crackers…losing their demographic hold on the united states

    haha just scared crackers…losing their demographic hold on the united states

    • Grahem C.

      I think you are partially correct. As NYC disintegrates and turns into Chicargo (the highest Black on Black crime rate). The smart money (educated people of all color) will leave. You can stay right here. Good luck with this!

    • Barry Appleby

      So brave of you to post anonymously.
      Jews represent 2% of the US population of 300,000,000
      so your statement is unsubstantiated nonsense. Latinos
      and African-Americans are much large minorities. So what’s your beef or have you nothing intelligent to say?

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