GerritsenBeach.net is reporting that swastikas and other hate-related graffiti were discovered along the bulkhead on Devon Avenue in Gerritsen Beach.
The site published photos of several versions of a swastika, including one with a circle around it and the word “Hail” scrolled above it.
It’s not the only graffiti on the bulkhead; the site describes it as a problematic area with vandals covering much of it in spray-paint, and, recently, a thief broke into several boats and stole supplies.
GerritsenBeach.net is calling for “neighbors and police [to] monitor and patrol this area.”
The following is a message from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:
In a push to punish those responsible for hate crimes, including the latest epidemic of anti-Semitic crimes plaguing our community, as a member of the Assembly’s Codes Committee, I called on the City’s District Attorneys to immediately seek the maximum penalty for defendants accused of hate crimes and asked Judges to impose the maximum sentence allowed upon conviction.
We are seeing an increase in the frequency of anti-Semitic incidents. Those who commit these abominable crimes must realize that there is a real penalty to pay for their actions. Most of these offenses are property-based, but the recent physical assault upon a Jewish man walking home from Sabbath services, by teens who hit him in the face and shouted derogatory epithets about his obviously religious appearance, highlights the critical need for harsher penalties.
Those who choose to act on the hatred in their hearts must know that they can expect to receive the maximum penalty that our Penal Code allows. We need to show the perpetrators of these offensive acts that there is no place for their hatred in our civilized society. We as legislators intended that the penalty for the commission of a hate crime be harsher than other crimes.The judiciary must now use its power to carry out our legislative intent.
I am working with law enforcement officials in an effort to swiftly bring those who commit these and other hate crimes to justice. As the son of Holocaust survivors and a representative of one of the largest populations of Holocaust survivors, I am concerned over the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’ annual “Hate Crimes in New York State” report, showing a 27 percent increase of hate crimes throughout New York City (350), while hate crimes in New York State dropped by 14 percent. The 2011 report also revealed that Jews were the most frequent targets of hate crimes and that, nearly 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, swastikas are still being placed on property throughout New York State. (Please see below a copy of a letter sent to our Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. Also note similar letters were sent to all our Borough’s District Attorneys).
Read a copy of the letter Cymbrowitz sent to DA Hynes.
The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Lew Fidler:
Council Member Lew Fidler along with Assembly Members Alan Maisel and Helene Weinstein expressed outrage and shock over the recent escalation of anti-Semitic vandalism and assaults in their Brooklyn communities.
The most recent incident occurred yesterday, when a swastika was discovered on the sidewalk adjacent to a synagogue in Marine Park. This follows numerous recent hate crimes, which include swastikas or anti-Semetic words that were discovered at several locations throughout Borough Park, Kensington and Williamsburg, and the beating of a an orthodox man as he returned from Shul last week in Sheephead Bay. While the group of thugs brutally beat their victim, they shouted “dirty Jew” and “Kike”.
“We must not tolerate this kind of hateful behavior in our neighborhoods. I am pleased that the NYPD has agreed to our demand for increase patrols and thank Shomrim for stepping up their presence, as well. It is imperative that the members of our communities feel safe, and we are going to both nip this in the bud and bring these thugs to justice. This recent rash of bias crimes is under investigation by the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit, and I am confident that, through the combined efforts of all involved, we will prevail. I have asked Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes to prosecute all responsible parties to the fullest extent of the law.” said Councilman Lew Fidler.
“Once again, we are confronted with the outrageous behavior of a hate-filled person who has no respect for our community or the tradition of tolerance that makes our country great. I am grateful to the NYC Police Department for quickly responding to this hateful incident and doing everything that they can to find those who are responsible,” stated Assemblyman Alan Maisel.
“I am appalled that a hateful act like this was committed just steps from Merkaz Yisroel of Marine Park, a cornerstone of this community. Vandalism like this is an insult to tolerance, a trait imbued by Merkaz Yisroel, founded in 1932 as the Marine Park Jewish Center. I call upon the District Attorney’s office to work with the NYPD and community in apprehending those responsible and use them as examples in order to deter others who wish to disrupt our peace and quality of life” said Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein upon hearing about the most recent incident.
The unified lawmakers are seeking assistance by asking anyone who may have information to please come forward and call the Confidential NYPD TIPS LINE at 1-800-577-TIPS.
The Sephardic Community Federation (SCF) is actively working to inform their members and supporters of their stance on congressional candidate Charles Barron.
Community leaders have already come out denouncing Barron for what they say is his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda.
The SCF-sponsored full page ads in various major Jewish publications over the weekend, according to Yeshiva World News. They spent $16,000 in media ads and sent out over 10,000 mailers to residents of Brighton Beach, Canarsie, Coney Island, Crown Heights, Marine Park, Manhattan Beach, Mill Basin, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Seagate.
In the ads, they write about his viewpoints and encourage residents to come out and vote against him tomorrow, June 26.
Barron is running against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. The winner will be the Democratic candidate in the November election for the congressional seat currently occupied by Ed Towns, who is retiring.
Bedford Avenue and Gravesend Neck Road, the scene of the alleged hate crime. (Source: Google Maps)
An Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted on Friday by a gang of thugs following Sabbath services, Councilman Michael Nelson has told Sheepshead Bites.
In a press release expressing shock and outrage over a recent spate of anti-Semitic vandalism in Jewish communities across Brooklyn, Nelson described the assault that happened in his own district. In the release, Nelson was joined by other local elected condemning the attack.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit is investigating the assault.
Here’s the relevant portion of the release:
“The man was brutally assaulted simply because he is a Jew.” A band of 5 or 6 perpetrators accosted the individual on Bedford Avenue & Neck Road in Sheepshead Bay, called him a “Kike” and a “dirty Jew,” and then two of them proceeded to pummel him with their fists leaving the man injured with a black eye and other contusions.
“I am speechless that such acts of hate and violence, which harken back to what the Nazis did, are occurring right here in communities that boldly pride themselves on their rich diversity,” Councilman Nelson asserted. “We are a civilized society and must not tolerate hate crimes of any kind,” stressed Nelson. “Anti-Semitism is not just an attack on members of the Jewish faith; it is an attack on everyone. We must therefore ALL stand united to tackle this problem in a way that discourages such reprehensible, cowardly acts,” Nelson asserted.
“I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in our neighborhood. I am pleased that the NYPD has agreed to our demand for increase patrols and thank Shomrim for stepping up their presence, as well. We are going to both nip this in the bud and bring these thugs to justice,” said Councilman Lew Fidler.
“These incidents are under investigation by the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit,” stated Councilman Michael C. Nelson.
“I am appalled by this reprehensible action of Anti-Semitism. This bias incident will not be tolerated, and we ask individuals with information to please come forward and call the Confidential NYPD TIPS LINE at 1-800-577-TIPS,” said Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein upon hearing about Friday night’s attack.
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.