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January 3, 2023 5:20 pm

‘We’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’: Orthodox Jews Disproportionate Victims of New York Hate Crimes, According to Report


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Members of the Satmar Hasidic community walking in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Hasidic and Orthodox Jews in New York City are the minority group most victimized by hate crimes in the city, according to a Dec. 28 report by Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA), a US based group founded in 2019 to raise awareness of rising antisemitism.

The report, titled “The Hate Crime Accountability Project” and based on data provided by the New York City Police Department (NYPD), said that Orthodox Jews were victims in 94 percent of the 194 antisemitic assaults that occurred between 2018 and 2022. 97 percent were committed by members of other minority groups, it added, and nearly a quarter by teenagers.

Over two-thirds, 69 percent, of the assailants were African American, the report continued, with most attacks, 77 percent, taking place in predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Of all assaults that prompted criminal proceedings just two resulted in convictions.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Americans Against Antisemitism founder and former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) told The Algemeiner. “Shouldn’t there be a plan for how we’re going to deal with it? What’s the answer? Education? We’ve been educating everybody forever for God’s sake, and things are just getting worse.”

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Hikind added that the Jewish victims of antisemitic hate crimes are “real” and in need of support from law enforcement and lawmakers. He also argued that were this level of violence committed against other minorities it would elicit more concern.

“The people who live in a lot of these neighborhoods are worried and concerned,” he continued. “Things are really getting out of control, and there is definitely a sense that there is little public outcry when it comes to antisemitism. And they keep talking about white supremacists, but you literally do not find white supremacists attacking Jews in New York. Yes, there is a danger from them in other parts of the country, but not New York.”

Antisemitic hate crimes in New York City during the month of November increased by 125 percent when compared to last year, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) reported in December. The NYPD recorded 45 antisemitic hate crimes in November 2022. In November 2021, it recorded 20. According to the data, Jewish New Yorkers were the most targeted group, accounting for 60 percent of all hate crimes that occurred.

There were several incidents of note in November, including a series of antisemitic and racist notes sent to several restaurants in the City Island neighborhood of the Bronx, the shooting of Hasidic Jews with a gel gun, and the uncovering of a plot to attack synagogues in Manhattan.

“The scariest part of reviewing these numbers is the lack of a concrete plan or solutions on how to combat the hate crimes against the most discriminated ethnic minority in New York City,” New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov told The Algemeiner in December.

Orthodox Jews are frequently targeted in another well known metropolitan city. In London, antisemitic hate crimes were an ongoing problem all of last year, eroding quality of life for one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities. Recently, Jewish man and his infant son were assaulted —the father was slashed — while taking a walk.

Earlier in December, a man in the Stamford Hill section of the city stalked and assaulted an Orthodox Jewish woman. He followed her, shouting “Dirty Jew,” and then snatched her shopping bag, “spilling her shopping onto the pavement whilst laughing,” according to Shomrim Stamford Hill, which provides security and support to London’s Orthodox Jewish community.

In August, a woman wielding a wooden stick approached a Jewish woman near the Seven Sisters area and declared “I am doing it because you are Jew,” while striking her over the head and pouring liquid on her.The next day, the same woman — described by an eyewitness as a “serial racist” — chased a mother and her baby with a wooden stick after spraying a liquid on the baby, and that same week, three people accosted a Jewish teenager and knocked his hat off his head while yelling “f****** Jew.”

The Metropolitan Police Service recorded 534 antisemitic hate crimes between Jan. and Nov. 2022, with there were 45 in the month of November, according to the department’s latest data. Data for the month of Dec. is forthcoming.

Follow reporter Dion J. Pierre at @DionJPierre.

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