|Acts of anti-Semitism are on the rise in New York and elsewhere, leaving Jewish community rattled|
By Shayna Jacobs
Dec. 29, 2019 at 7:51 p.m. EST
full article at washingtonpost.com
NEW YORK — Hours after a knife-wielding man barged into a Hanukkah party in a New York suburb, stabbing five people, top officials condemned the crime as part of a disturbing trend. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called it "domestic terrorism," linking it to the recent spate of violence against Jewish people in New York.
Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise around the country, leaving members of the Jewish community feeling frightened and unsafe. In New York City, anti-Semitic crimes have jumped 21 percent in the past year. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were 1,879 incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States in 2018, including more than 1,000 instances of harassment.
“This is a national phenomenon that we are seeing and it’s frightening and it’s disturbing,” Cuomo said at a news conference Sunday. “If anyone thinks that something poisonous is not going on in this country, then they’re in denial.”
Experts say anti-Semitic violence has been rising for years. In 2018, a gunman stormed Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, killing 11 congregants and wounding six others. It was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the history of the United States.
Last April, during the observance of Passover, a gunman killed a Jewish worshiper at a Poway, Calif., house of worship and injured three others.
Knife-wielding man swung at ‘everyone he could’ at rabbi’s New York home, witness says
A rash of attacks
And a string of attacks in recent weeks has left the Jewish community in the New York area particularly unsettled.
This month, David Anderson and Francine Graham went on a violent rampage at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, killing three people inside the store. The pair have been linked to the Black Hebrew Israelites, a hate group that traffics in anti-Semitic tropes. Authorities said they also posted anti-Semitic and anti-police screeds online.
On Dec. 23, a 28-year-old man punched and kicked a 65-year-old in midtown Manhattan while yelling anti-Semitic slurs, police said. Steven Jorge was charged with assault in the second degree as a hate crime.
On Thursday, an Orthodox woman was walking with her 3-year-old son in Gravesend, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, when she was approached from behind by Ayana Logan, officials said.
Logan, 42, whacked the 34-year-old mother in the head, officials say, and delivered an ominous message: “You f---ing Jew. Your end is coming to you.” She was arraigned on charges of assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and endangering the welfare of a child.
A day later, 30-year-old Tiffany Harris slapped three Orthodox women in the face and head in Crown Heights, a neighborhood known for its heavy Orthodox population and history of racial tension.
Police were convinced of Harris’s motive because of what she told them after the incident. “I cursed them out,” Harris allegedly told officers taking her into custody. “I said ‘F’ you, Jews.”
These attacks, along with several others that did not result in an immediate arrest, are being investigated by the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force.
In Orthodox communities around New York, families are “definitely scared and frightened,” Rockland County official Aron Wieder said in a phone interview.
“If you were to walk down any street in Rockland County in the Orthodox Jewish community you will feel it in the air,” he said. “Children are frightened. Parents are nervous to send their children to school,” he said. “You could literally feel it and maybe touch it even.”
Celebrations of the last night of Hanukkah would go on after sundown Sunday, he said, but would proceed with caution and a measured tone.
continues at washingtonpost.com