Chabad ‘Mitzvah Tank’ Graffitied in Antisemitic Vandalism Incident in New York
A mobile Jewish education and social services center was vandalized in New York City during the early morning hours on Sunday.
According to CrownHeights.info, a local outlet, someone graffitied “Palestine” on a “Mitzvah Tank” operated by the Chabad Jewish movement.
A Mitzvah Tank is a vehicle used by Chabad to educate the public about Judaism and provide social services such as feeding the poor.
“Yesterday, late evening, we were alerted that our state of the art mitzvah tank was graffitied in a hateful attack while parked in the heart of Soho on Broadway,” Chabad Rabbi Yehuda Pevzner told CrownHeights.info on Monday. “The NYPD is taking this very seriously and we thank them for the strong response. We will keep you updated as the investigation continues.”
Jewish leaders said this week that the incident demonstrated a clear relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with the Chabad Mitzvah truck located in New York City,” Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “Palestine graffiti is just another example of conflating political issues halfway around the world with Jew-hatred in the United States. This is a prime example of antisemitism and anti-Zionism being one and the same.”
“Chabad engages in Jewish outreach. It operates a fleet of ‘Mitzvah Tanks’ to reach and engage the Jewish community,” Jewish rights advocate Avi Mayer tweeted. “Some bigot vandalized this Mitzvah Tank in Manhattan with the word ‘Palestine,’ — demonstrating — yet again — that anti-Zionism is just another form of antisemitism.”
More antisemitic incidents were recorded in New York than in any other state, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported in April, noting that it tallied 416, which “accounted for an astounding 15 percent of the total reported antisemitic incidents across the country.”
Scott Richman, regional director of the ADL’s New York/New Jersey office called the data “deeply disturbing.”
“The fact that these incidents included an unprecedented number of vicious assaults — frequently targeting visibly Jewish individuals on the streets of New York, including young children, is disturbing,” he said. “Antisemitism, like other forms of hate, is not going away, and we must proactively work together to protect our community by combating antisemitic statements and behavior before they lead to even more violence.”