NYC Israeli cafe vandalism prompts hate crime investigation: 'Cowardly act of anti-Semitism'

An Israeli café on Manhattan's Upper West Side was the target of vandals, who used red spray paint to scrawl "Free Gaza" and "form line here to support genocide" onto the property over the weekend.

New York City police opened a hate crime investigation into the incident at Effy's Cafe, a kosher eatery on West 96th Street near Columbus Avenue. Officers responded to the scene around 10:40 p.m. Sunday, and so far, no arrests have been made.

(@ManhattanMingle on X)

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, whose congressional district covers the Upper West Side, called the crime "a cowardly act of anti-Semitism" and tweeted pictures of him standing in front of the restaurant.

"Targeting a small business because of who it’s owned by— Israeli, Palestinian or any other group— is not only wrong, it’s self defeating," the tweet read.

X user @ManhattanMingle, who shared photos of the vandalism with FOX 5 NY, tweeted that the owners "are known and beloved to the community." 

She later tweeted that community members came together to clean up the spray paint.

"As our local politicians have abandoned Israel and fueled the campaigns of our enemies, we can’t wait around for the city to provide a clean up crew," @ManhattanMingle wrote.

As of Sunday, March 10, the NYPD has recorded 72 hate crimes in New York City, according to CompStat, a 6% reduction compared to this time last year. Since October, the war between Israel and Hamas has sparked tensions in the United States, sometimes resulting in crimes against Jewish and Muslim communities.