Archive for the tag 'antisemitism'

Manhattan Borough President – and mayoral contender - Scott Stringer sent out the following statement shortly after our report on Friday about the Avenue Z Jewish Center (875 Avenue Z) being vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. He wrote:

I am outraged by the news that the Avenue Z Jewish Center in Brooklyn has once again been defaced by anti-Semitic vandals, with graffiti on the entrance door to the center, as well as a sidewalk and nearby synagogue windows. There is no place in our community for this kind of vulgar and cowardly attack—and memories are still fresh of the February, 2011 vandalism at the center which looted a donation box and destroyed a large menorah and a Torah. I urge anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact the NYPD immediately, and I have no doubt that through their great work these perpetrators will be caught.

To our knowledge, the Manhattan politician is the only elected official to issue a statement relating to this incident.

An example of the graffiti found in front of the Avenue Z Jewish Center (Photo: Ari Kagan)

Ari Kagan, the Russian-American journalist and community liaison for Comptroller John Liu, dropped us a note informing us that the Avenue Z Jewish Center (875 Avenue Z)  was hit again by anti-Semitic vandals over the weekend, making it the second incident in a little over a year.

According to Kagan:

Graffiti appeared on the entrance door of the Avenue Z Jewish Center, as well as at a sidewalk leading to it. President of the center Jay Freeze and board member Felix Filler expressed real concern about numerous signs on a sidewalk, like “Russ Jews”, “Jews”, “Russ” and stars of David. Similar graffiti with the same handwriting could be seen at the windows of the synagogue.

In February 2011, vandals smashed the back window of the Avenue Z Jewish Center and stole $200 from a donation box. They also destroyed a large menorah and a Torah, costing thousands of dollars. The perps were never found, despite a $1,000 reward offered by Councilman Michael Nelson.

According to Kagan, the Avenue Z Jewish Center has informed the NYPD’s 60th Precinct and Community Board 13, and will soon install security cameras to guard the entrance.

Correction (12:28 p.m.): The original version of this article inaccurately stated that the center notified Community Board 15. It was actually Community Board 13. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

The Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn’s forum on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, originally scheduled for this afternoon, has been postponed.

A new date has yet to be selected.

On the upside, the organization’s director has told Sheepshead Bites they’ll be using the time between now and the rescheduled forum to tweak the program, taking feedback from Sheepshead Bites’ commenters into consideration.

The group said they hope to add a local a rabbi to the program, as well as possibly split it into two events – one in the afternoon for students, and one later in the day for adults.

More information will be posted as the group firms up its plans.

Source: Simone Weichselbaum via Twitter

What would you do if you encountered a white supremacist in Sheepshead Bay? Would you walk away? Would you pick a fight? Or would you try to engage him and change his mind?

Keep reading to find out what one local did, what business employs a white supremacist and some musings on how to stop the hate.

A 60th Precinct squad car at the scene of the mezuzah thefts, 3000 Ocean Parkway

The seemingly never-ending scourge of anti-Semitic property defacement throughout Southern Brooklyn continues, as the vandal suspected of ripping seven mezuzot off the doorframes on the 15th, 18th and 19th floors of 3000 Ocean Parkway in Brighton Beach has likely struck again.

According to a 23-year-old resident of the Trump Village Apartments, their mezuzah — a small, encased parchment inscribed with Hebrew Torah verses and affixed to the doorframe in accordance with Jewish law — was stolen on Sunday night.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is continuing to probe the thefts, but the building has no surveillance cameras monitoring its hallways, making it difficult to determine who is committing the crimes, and when.

Continue Reading »

Source: Simone Weichselbaum via Twitter

Authorities have arrested a Jewish man allegedly responsible for several recent anti-Semitic incidents, and who is suspected of perpetrating this weekend’s “Die Jews” graffiti in Midwood.

The Daily News reports:

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force tracked down David Haddad, 56, after several complaints were made – one by a relative and at least one other by a person known to him – for harassing them by phone and scribbling anti-Semitic symbols on apartment doors.

“Knowing someone put swastikas and derogatory messages on my door makes me sick,” said Susan Levin, who lives down the hall from Haddad, who allegedly wrote “All Jews Should Die” on her front door.

A neighbor called the cops after spotting five out of eight doors on the floor where Haddad lives scribbled with swastikas and anti-Semitic messages.

… Haddad, a building manager who lives on 8th Ave. in Chelsea, was arrested at his job Monday after the task force traced at least one of his phone calls, police said. He was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime, police said.

In addition to the graffiti in the Chelsea building, police say they believe him responsible for anti-Semitic death threats to an 80-year-old Brooklyn woman on December 11; a harassing phone call and graffiti on the door of an apartment owned by a Manhattan woman on January 10; and anti-Semitic threats via phone to an 87-year-old Chelsea woman and a 78-year-old Brooklyn woman.

Police also believe Haddad responsible for the anti-Semitic graffiti on East 5th Street in Midwood over the weekend, in which “Die Jews” and swastikas were painted on a garage, apartment building and yeshiva. He was not charged for those incidents.

The NY Post has a little more on Haddad’s possible motives:

Haddad had worked for his family’s business – the import/export of socks and underwear – in Linden, NJ, but left to start an off-shoot company, sources said.

That venture recently failed and Haddad began lashing out at family members and others, sources added.

His economic misfortune is being eyed as a possible motive, sources said.

As soon as he was taken into custody, Haddad secured a lawyer and made no statements or admissions to detectives, sources said.

In Midwood, the Daily News notes in a separate article that many of the victims didn’t know Haddad, shedding a sliver of doubt on the NYPD’s assertion that Haddad was responsible for the incidents locally. And, regardless, leaders of the heavily Jewish neighborhood point out that it’s part of a citywide trend most certainly perpetrated by multiple individuals.

“This first arrest is an empowering development,” City Councilman David Greenfield told the Daily News. But “it seems this is happening all over the city. All at the same time. It seems this individual is responsible for a section of it.”

Source: Simone Weichselbaum via Twitter

Investigators from the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit are busy following up on yet another anti-Semitic incident in Midwood, after homeowners found their garage had been spray-painted with the words “Die Jews” and several swastikas.

The graffiti was found Sunday morning on the East 5th Street home’s garage, and two more swastikas were found on the door of an apartment building across the street.

It’s the latest in a rash of anti-Semitic incidents plaguing Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. The vandalism occurred less than a week after pro-Hitler graffiti was uncovered in Borough Park, and just two months after several cars were found torched in Midwood with anti-Semitic messages scrawled nearby.

“Almost every day, there seems to be another incident reported,” Assemblyman Dov Hikind said in a statement. “The police have hardly made an arrest in any of these cases. I am calling on the NYPD to use every resource available to apprehend the person(s) responsible for these heinous acts so that people in the community can once again have peace of mind.”

UPDATE (10:34 a.m.): According to a statement put out by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, graffiti was also found on a yeshiva around the corner. Here’s Cymbrowitz’s statement:

“I am appalled that our community has, once again, been subjected to another depraved act of anti-Semitic vandalism, this time defacing the Yeshiva of Brooklyn Boys School on Ocean Parkway as well as a garage around the corner on East Fifth Street. This pestilence of anti-Jewish graffiti plaguing our city — home to the nation’s largest population of Holocaust survivors — is unacceptable, and must be strongly condemned not only by the Jewish community, but by all people everywhere. It is imperative that we never stop speaking out against these sickening crimes, and show the individuals who commit these acts that there is no place for them or their hate-filled messages in civilized society.”

Police are on the hunt for a suspected anti-Semitic vandal after several Jewish artifacts were ripped off doorways in a Brighton Beach apartment building over the weekend, in the latest Southern Brooklyn bias crime.

Police are investigating this as a hate crime. Get the details.

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.”

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