Jewish Group Deplores Antisemitic Attack on Brooklyn Student
A leading Jewish human-rights organization expressed dismay over the violent assault of a Jewish student in New York on Wednesday.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said on Thursday it is extremely troubled by the incident, which took place in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.
“The allegation that the perpetrator voiced hatred for Jews and white people is deeply disturbing,” said ADL New York Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein in a released statement. “No one in our city should be singled out because of their ethnicity or religion, and this is particularly true in Crown Heights, where the community has worked hard to build bridges and to overcome stereotypes and misperceptions.”
The assault took place Wednesday night on the campus of Medgar Evers College, which is part of the City University of New York system. A 24-year-old Jewish student, who was wearing a kippah (skullcap), was chatting with classmates in the hallway of a college building, when an unknown African-American man bumped into him from behind, JTA reported.
Police said the Jewish student then tapped the man on the shoulder with an umbrella he was carrying, and the man responded by punching him in the face and stomach, according to the New York Daily News.
When the college junior asked why he was being attacked, the assailant said, “I don’t like white and Jewish boys, leave the school, you Jew.” The man fled the scene following the assault and exited through the building’s main entrance. The victim did not require medical treatment, Gothamist reported.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, according to the ADL. Police interviewed the victim and several witnesses, including a Muslim woman who reported the incident to campus security. Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage of the attack and searching for the perpetrator. It is not known whether he is a student at the college, JTA reported.
Evers College President Rudolph Crew called the attack an “awful act of violence and of ignorance.”
“While such incidents are fortunately rare on campus, even one is too many,” he said. “To attack someone because of his or her race or religious beliefs is appalling. I want to make it clear that we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and we will do everything in our power to ensure the assailant is found and held fully accountable for these hateful actions.”
Crew and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams ordered staff to assist the victim and NYPD in any way necessary, according to The Yeshiva World News. Adams said Medgar Evers College and the borough of Brooklyn have no tolerance for hatred. He added, “We are a diverse community that will grow stronger and more united in the face of an isolated incident of ignorance.”
Council member Laurie A. Cumbo urged students at Medgar Evers to come forward if they have any information that may lead to the arrest of the attacker. She said the incident is “in no way a reflection of the student body at MEC, who have had a long history of welcoming students of all races and religions.”