By | Rachel Brooks
Contributor | Telegraph Local
See the New African Living Standard
Attacks on the Jewish community of Brooklyn have escalated. The NYPD has stepped up patrols in response to these hate crimes. Citing NPR, there have been at least six incidents across New York City in the past week. The violence is staged on the backdrop of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the Jewish winter lights festival celebrating the historical Maccabean revolt and the spirit of Jewishness. To launch attacks on Jews during Hanukkah is to add the greatest insult to the injury of hate.
Mayor De Blasio must have made some note of this when he addressed the city on his Twitter page with the following,
“Hate doesn’t have a home in our city. Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community will face justice. Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city_and we will confront it head-on.”
The attacks knew no age discrimination. A 65-year-old Orthodox man was walking in Manhattan Monday when he was punched in the face. “F__you, Jew-bastard!” The attacker, 28-year-old Steve Jorge, has been charged with assault as a hate crime.
Also Monday evening, teens allegedly attacked two children in Brooklyn. Then on Tuesday, a group shouting racial slurs through a drink at a 25-year-old man. Later the same day, a 56-year-old man was assaulted. By Thursday, a woman called Ayana Logan had hit a 34-year-old Jewish woman in the face with a bag. Logan was charged with assault as a hate crime. Then by Friday, Tiffany Harris of Brooklyn slapped three young Jewish women dressed in traditional Jewish clothing and shouted anti-Semitics slurs at them.
The heart of the Jewish community is flooding now with fear. All of this hostilities_in the midst of a festival celebrating light, freedom, and peace_recall the memory of the recent slaughter in Jersey City.
Devorah Halberstam spoke with CBS New York 2 in the wake of violence. She said, “We can’t live under siege like that. Our communities all over the city. This has to stop. And it’s not getting better. It’s actually getting worse.” Halberstam knows all too well the history of violence against Jews in her city. 25-years ago a terrorist opened fire on a van carrying yeshiva students to school over the Brooklyn Bridge. Among them, was Halberstam’s son Ari, who was only 16-years-old. WCBS Newsradio commemorated Ari in March, remembering how the boy was shot in the head and lay dying for four days before he succumbed.
“I know what the taste of hatred is,” said Halberstam, “I know what the taste of death is, unfortunately. And I know what begins with a swastika does not end with a swastika. This is a societal problem in New York City. This is not just a Jewish problem.” This is a sentiment echoed by the Jews all over the city. Citing NBC New York, Councilman Chaim Deutsch said, “It seems like it’s open season on Jews in New York City.” It would ring true. NBC reported that the Ayana Logan attack involved a 34-year-old Jewish mother walking with her 3-year-old son in Brooklyn Thursday. Shouting racial slurs, Logan beat the mother over the head with a grocery bag in the presence of her child.
NBC also reports that a man entered the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters during the Hanukkah ceremonies and made anti-Semitics threats. Chabad Lubavitch is a religious center for Jews worldwide. People in the community say their children are terrified to go back and forth, and mothers are racking up their pepper spray supply. The Shomrim_a Jewish public safety patrol_urge you to buy whatever weapon you can legally carry. The Jewish community has also commented that while NYPD amplifies its presence for a week or so, attacks continue to happen. Change will not happen until they send a clear message to their attackers to leave them alone, they say.