New York City has witnessed a stunning 214% rise in antisemitic hate crimes in October as compared to last year, according to NYPD data, coinciding directly with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. While hate crimes rose overall by 124%, the soaring levels of antisemitism is particularly alarming, with 69 cases recorded last month compared to 22 in October of the previous year.
Bob Moskovitz, Executive Director of Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol told the New York Daily News that “We’re feeling it 100%.” Shomrim’s hotline experienced a staggering 300% increase in calls amid frazzled nerves among Jewish residents. Moskovitz noted that the volume of calls reached nearly 1,600 in October, a more than three-fold increase from the usual 500 calls per month.
“The community is obviously anxious and stressed by everything that is going on overseas and here,” Moskovitz said.
The nature of the incidents, according to Moskovitz, primarily involves younger individuals and includes verbal assaults from cars, theft, and destruction of Israeli flags outside homes.
The incidents also reflect a broader national trend of increased anti-Semitic activity, as documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which also noted a rise in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab incidents.
The situation has extended beyond the streets, affecting higher education institutes. Jewish students at Columbia University and other institutions have reported feeling vulnerable, with antisemitic threats becoming more frequent on campuses.
The recent escalation of hate crimes has captured the attention of lawmakers. Representative Ritchie Torres expressed his concerns, saying, “Antisemitism is like a cancer that can go into remission but it resurfaces every so often.” He also pointed to the role of social media in rapidly disseminating antisemitic rhetoric.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, alongside legislators, has announced proposed changes to the legal definitions of hate crimes to address and close existing loopholes.
In response to the growing need for security, Senator Chuck Schumer is advocating for increased federal funding to safeguard places of worship and religious schools targeted by hate crimes, recognizing the urgency of the situation as America faces a rising tide of intolerance and violence.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)