Archive for the tag 'antisemitism'

A footprint left at the site of the vandalism last week, believed to belong to the culprit.

Our report last week on the anti-Semitic graffiti at the Holocaust Memorial was met with swift responses from elected officials, and so far one measure has been taken to ensure the safety of the park, with possibly more to follow.

The Flatbush Shomrim safety patrol van has been parked outside the memorial, monitoring the site with live cameras since last Thursday, and unmarked patrol cars have been asked to keep an eye on the area. The Shomrim patrol van is needed for different incidents around the city and will not remain at the site, but permanent cameras in and around the memorial and in Manhattan Beach is a possibility.

According to Chaim Deutsch, Chief of Operations for Councilman Michael Nelson and founder of the Flatbush Shomrim, Nelson has asked the state for funding to install two cameras in Manhattan Beach, one by the Holocaust Memorial and another by the neighborhood’s other entrance.

“There are only two ways to get out of Manhattan Beach, and one of them is by the Memorial,” said Deutsch. “If a child goes missing, we would be able to look at the cameras and see if they exited the area. Some people are opposed to the cameras because they don’t want to be recorded, but the idea has been gaining support in the community.”

“After an incident the first thing you want to do is show visibility,” he added. “That is why we have the van there, to send a message that it is being monitored. For the future, we would like cameras installed to be a deterrent for future incidents.”

Deutsch said the initiative is still in the works. Aside from the two cameras monitoring Manhattan Beach’s entrances and exits – a plan devised shortly after the Leiby Kletzky incident by Deutsch, Nelson and the Manhattan Beach’s civic groups – local pols and candidates have suggested putting remotely monitored surveillance cameras within the park itself.

Cymbrowitz inspects the graffiti (Source: Cymbrowitz's office)

After Sheepshead Bites broke the story yesterday about the anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on the centerpiece of Holocaust Memorial Park (West End Avenue between Shore Boulevard and Emmons Avenue), several elected officials and candidates for political offices sent in additional comments condemning the attacks. Here they are, published in the order they were received.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz inspected the site before detectives arrived. From a press release he issued later in the day:

The son of Holocaust survivors, Cymbrowitz called the offensive vandalism “an affront to the memory of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, as well as to all Holocaust survivors in my district.”

“This memorial is a symbol of peace and has provided comfort to not only the Holocaust survivors in my community, but to thousands from throughout the city. The callous vandalism of this memorial must not go unpunished. As I told the police officers at the scene, everything must be done to catch these perpetrators of hate,” Cymbrowitz said.

Cymbrowitz has previously called on New York City’s District Attorneys to seek the maximum penalty for defendants accused of hate crimes and ask judges to impose the maximum sentence allowed upon conviction.

Meanwhile, Ben Akselrod and Ari Kagan, who have been campaigning together for a seat in the Assembly and local District Leader, respectively, issued a joint statement.

“Ari and I are committed to stopping this trend of hatred that goes against everything this city believes in,” Akselrod said. “These kinds of disgusting, disgraceful acts have no place in Brooklyn and in our society.”  “We all must stand united to tackle this problem in a way that discourages such reprehensible, cowardly acts,” Kagan added.

Both Akselrod and Kagan demand installation of video cameras that can be monitored to protect the park from further vandalism.

Borough President Marty Markowitz weighed in as well:

Brooklyn is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, so it’s especially offensive that not only did this reprehensible anti-Semitic act occur in our borough, but at Holocaust Memorial Park, a peaceful place of reflection that memorializes the millions of lives lost due to this very kind of hatred. The Holocaust showed the depth to which humanity can sink, and incidents like these remind us that those who use hate, vandalism and violence to vilify others still walk among us and need to be separated from society. But Brooklyn’s diversity is our strength, and ultimately there is more that unites us than divides us. That’s why we must remain vigilant in condemning hatred and discrimination against anyone—there’s no place for it in Brooklyn or anywhere in the world. I have every confidence that the NYPD will do everything in its power to track down and apprehend the thugs responsible. And, in addition to their punishment, the perpetrators should be made to visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan or the United States Holocaust MemorialMuseum in Washington, D.C. to learn about the atrocities of the Holocaust and to understand the depth of their ignorance.

Finally, State Senator David Storobin sent a statement saying the following:

There is no room for hate in our community. This memorial is a sacred site. Its defamation is an insult to Holocaust survivors, Jewish New Yorkers, and all peace-loving people. It is my hope that in this dark moment, our community will unite against anti-Semitism and hatred. If these vile criminals are caught, I call on the authorities to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

UPDATE (1:58 p.m.): Congressman Bob Turner just piped in with this:

The recent vandalism of the shrine at the Holocaust Memorial Park goes against its very purpose, which is to remind us of the necessity for community tolerance. I encourage anyone who has any information that can lead to the apprehension of those responsible to contact the proper authorities. We must work together to show that acts of cowardice and ignorance like this will not be tolerated.

Source: Councilman Nelson's office

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Neighbors woke up this morning to find that the area’s beloved Holocaust Memorial Park, New York City’s only public Holocaust memorial, was the target of what appears to be anti-Semitic vandalism last night.

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A swastika found in Gerritsen Beach last week (Source: GerritsenBeach.net)

A militant Jewish organization announced over the weekend that it will send “security teams” to Marine Park, calling for Jewish residents witnessing anti-Semitic acts of vandalism to “smash the neo-Nazis to pieces physically.”

The Jewish Defense Organization is deploying their patrols in Marine Park, Borough Park and other areas that were recently targeted by anti-Semitic vandals. The neighborhood has been plagued by hate-related graffiti, most recently in late June when a swastika was painted on a sidewalk near a Marine Park synagogue. Last week, swastikas were found on a bulkhead in nearby Gerritsen Beach.

Keep reading for the JDO’s full statement, and the NYPD’s response.

Source: GerritsenBeach.net

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.

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