Wave of anti-Semitic incidents rattle New York residents
NEW YORK - Officials are promising more police officers in Jewish neighborhoods following a spike in anti-Semitic attacks across New York City in recent days.
"We're going to protect the Jewish community and make sure people feel that that protection is there for them," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating two anti-Semitic incidents in Borough Park, Brooklyn, over the weekend.
In one, a group of men showed up at Aguduth Israel synagogue on 16th Avenue and harassed people outside, allegedly screaming, "Free Palestine" and "Kill all Jews." A car was also vandalized.
In the second, the same group of men is believed to have attacked two Jewish teens along Ocean Parkway after those teens refused to shout "Free Palestine." The suspects fled in a blue Toyota Camry.
People in the neighborhood are now looking over their shoulders when they are out and about.
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"It's a shame we can't feel safe where we live, we pay taxes and keep the law, I hope these people will be educated and stop doing this mischief," a Borough Park resident told FOX 5 NY. "It's very frightening."
The attacks are not limited to Brooklyn. Rabbi Mendy Steiner said he was cornered by a man in a Chase bank branch in Midtown Manhattan on Friday morning.
"He said to me, 'You see they're killing my innocent children, you're killing my innocent children, and I'm going to kill you' — those were the words he said to me," Steiner said.
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Police are also investigating a window smashed at Saba Pizzeria on the Upper East Side.
Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and is the incoming chair of the Jewish Caucus, said these incidents are unacceptable.
"The only Kosher pizza place in the neighborhood, across the street where I go to synagogue, has been vandalized. This is happening everywhere," Kallos said. "People are in fear all over our city and we really need to make sure we're doing what we can to support each and every community."