Attacks leave a Jewish community on edge as leaders call for more protection – The Guardian,

Attacks leave a Jewish community on edge as leaders call for more protection – The Guardian,

Jewish groups and political leaders have issued calls for increased protection inNew Yorkafter a string of attacks during Hanukah left members of the region’s Jewish community on edge.

On Saturday night,an attacker stabbed five people during Hanukah festivitiesat a rabbi’s home in Monsey, Rockland county, about 47 miles north ofNew YorkCity, in what Governor Andrew Cuomocalled“an act of domestic terrorism”. The attack was the latest in astring of antisemitic incidentsin the region.

“After the hateful assaults we saw this past week in Brooklyn and Manhattan, it is heart-wrenching to see the holiday of Hanukah violated yet again. We are outraged because the answer is clear: the Jewish community NEEDS greater protection, ”Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatttweetedon Sunday following the stabbings.

New York police chief Terence Monahancalled the attack“a despicable display of hate”.

“NYPD cops, like those who apprehended the suspect in Harlem, are protecting NYC’s Jewish community. New Yorkers will see increased coverage across the city to ensure people of all faiths remain safe, ”Monahan added.

Monsey police chief Brad Weidel says the suspect in the stabbings north of New York City was in custody on Sunday and faced five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary.

Cuomo said he had directed the state’s police hate crimes task force to investigate the attacks.

Visiting Monsey on Sunday morning, Cuomo said the attack was “about the thirteenth incident of antisemitism” in the state of New York over recent weeks, and described the climate of intolerance as “an American cancer in the body politic”.

“‘ This is an intolerant time in our country, ’he added. ‘We see anger, we see hatred exploding.’

Steve Gold from the Jewish Federation in Rockland county said the US was failing the community: “My parents were Holocaust survivors and my father made me promise to do what I can to make sure it never happens again. Today I can say I failed my father. The US has failed my parents and all Holocaust survivors. This cannot continue. ”

Responding to the attack in Monsey, New York city mayor Bill de Blasiotweetedthat he could not “overstate the fear people are feeling right now ”.

“We will not allow this to become the new normal. We’ll use every tool we have to stop these attacks once and for all, ”he said, adding that the NYPD has deployed a visible and growing presence around Jewish houses of worship on the streets in communities like Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Boro Park . ”

The latest and most serious of the recent attacks comes two days after de Blasio said that police would make themselves more visible in some Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations after the antisemitic incidents during the holiday.

“Antisemitism is an attack on the values ​​of our city and we will confront it head-on,”the Democrat mayor tweeted, adding: “Anyone who terrorizes our Jewish community WILL face justice.”

On Friday, a woman slapped three other women in the face and head in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, police said. Tiffany Harris, (**********************************, was arrested on a hate-crime harassment charge.

Earlier in the week, a Miami man was charged with hate-crime assault after police said he made an antisemitic remark and attacked a man wearing a yarmulke in midtown Manhattan.

The incidents come less than three weeks since a Kosher store in Jersey City, in the neighboring state of New Jersey, was attacked as part of an hours-long assault that left six people dead, including three civilians, one police officer and both suspects.

The alleged assailants were named as 50 -year-old Francine Graham and -year-old David Anderson, who appeared to be linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, which isconsidered to be a hate group.

Across the US, other recent incidents in which swastikas or antisemitic graffiti have been used to vandalize property includea high school in Encinitas, California; aBoston elementary school; andat a synagogue in Washington DC.

The latest attack in New York will increase pressure on authorities to step up efforts to protect the Jewish community in areas like Monsey’s Rockland county, as well as Brooklyn’s Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, home to a large Hasidic population, as well as houses of worship.

“Obviously, there’s been a history in the region of violent attacks upon the Orthodox community,” Michael Specht, town supervisor for the area which includes Monsey, told the New York Times. “This is something very nightmarish to have happen.”

But some members of the Jewish community said they feared the recent incidents of antisemitism had already escalated beyond the capabilities of law enforcement to adequately protect the community.

“The challenge is that there are antisemitic tendencies rising up in ways that we have not seen in a very long time” ADL regional director Evan Bernstein told CNN.“This is beyond policing. These are communal problems, societal problems, that we need to get ahead of. ”

Bernstein said attacks on the Jewish community were under-reported because ultra-Orthodox populations were unfamiliar with technology or too isolated to notify authorities. “There’s a fear of reporting, a fear of retaliation or they don’t understand how to report incidents,” Bernstein said.

New York senator Chuck Schumer tweeted: “The attack last night in Monsey was an act of pure evil. The cascade in antisemitic attacks is outrageous throughout metropolitan New York and America, and must not be tolerated. We need a thorough federal investigation of this specific attack and all of the recent attacks. ”

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