Vandals hit up the Avenue J train station early Wednesday morning, spray painting an “ew” onto the station’s sign to read Avenue Jew. Now representatives of the heavily Orthodox Jewish area are condemning the graffiti and locals are wondering if it’s connected to last week’s hate-crime-related torching of three cars, which was accompanied by spray-painted “KKK” and swastikas nearby.
Police are investigating the latest spray painting as a possible bias crime, and the Transit Police have removed the sign.
“I am deeply disturbed by the graffiti incident at the Avenue J station on the Q line today,” Councilman Lew Fidler said in a statement yesterday. “Coming as quickly as it does on the heels of last week’s horrible acts on Ocean Parkway, it is particularly chilling. We cannot and will not stand by and watch haters and hooligans demonize the entire Jewish community with impunity. Whether this is the work of one deranged person, a group of drunken idiots or some organized effort, it must be met with an immediate outcry. I am calling today on Police Commissioner Kelly to move some of those police officers that have been stationed at or near Zuccotti Park to our neighborhoods until those culpable are caught and brought to justice. People of good conscience can never be silent in the face of hate. Now is not the time to turn the other cheek or to look away. Now is the time to act.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind expressed similar outrage and demanded action.
“Education and vigilance are our only weapons in fighting against this blatant hatred,” Hikind told ABC News. “We must send a message to those who perpetrate these vile acts that we will not tolerate their behavior. These cowards need to know that we will find them wherever they lurk, and when we do, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
UPDATE (11:17 a.m.): Congressman Jerrold Nadler just issued the following statement. We’re not entirely sure if it’s in reference to the Avenue Jew vandalism, since he only referred to “another anti-Semitic act.”
“News of yet another anti-Semitic act in Brooklyn sends an unequivocal message that our communities are under attack by deeply ignorant and destructive bigots. NYPD must increase its surveillance and enforcement, with more officers on the ground and more contact with community leaders and elected officials. Residents of Midwood and other areas targeted must be vigilant and ready to report incidents and help their neighbors. As we join together to beat back the scourge of prejudice and hate, Shomrim and neighborhood institutions which already have infrastructure in place to protect residents are instrumental. We must continue to speak out in the strongest possible terms whenever anyone is singled out for anti-Semitic or racist hatred. The hate-filled few don’t stand a chance against us when we stick together and fight back.”