Brooklyn And Manhattan Targeted In Anti-Semitic Incidents
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Brooklyn And Manhattan Targeted In Anti-Semitic Incidents

A series of incidents, includes swastikas in Crown Heights and death threats against a Jewish journalist, raise alarm.

A swastika was found spray-painted on a Crown Heights sidewalk earlier this year. Just one of the many incidents reported in NY as of late. Twitter/@Mottel
A swastika was found spray-painted on a Crown Heights sidewalk earlier this year. Just one of the many incidents reported in NY as of late. Twitter/@Mottel

Over the weekend, a new series of anti-Semitic incidents rocked New York, with spray-painted swastikas appearing on dormitory room doors at Manhattan’s The New School on Saturday and on a Crown Heights sidewalk on Sunday morning.

Four dormitory doors at The New School were defaced with swastikas, targeting Jewish students, according to several news reports. Many students were shaken up by this incident, and said they never expected this to occur in New York City.

“It was just heartbreaking,” said Sam Lichtenstein, a Jewish student whose door was among those targeted. “This is something you read about happening in other areas, and it's crazy to have it happen in such a progressive city, and a progressive university.”

The New School President David Van Zandt quickly denounced the attacks in a public statement. “We take any such instance seriously, investigate swiftly, and take appropriate action to ensure the security and safety of all our students.”

Mayor de Blasio spoke out against the hate crime as well, stating in a public statement, “Hate speech is reprehensible, and has no place in NYC.”

The following morning, a white spray-painted swastika was discovered on a Crown Heights sidewalk on Sunday morning in front of a 78-year-old man’s house, according to JTA.

Mordechai Lightstone, a member of the Crown Heights Jewish Community, tweeted photos of the graffiti, later adding that an orange safety cone had been placed on top to cover it.

“This definitely isn't the first time something like this has happened here,” Lightstone told the Jewish Week via email. “I can recall at least five or six incidents like this in the past few years, including another swastika and hate I noticed in 2014. Obviously there is a long history of acts like this in Crown Heights. I think the most important way to prevent/combat things like this is through greater education and creating bridges of understanding.”

Other anti-Semitic incidents have targeted individuals with threatening messages.

Mark Joseph Stern, a Jewish journalist at Slate who covers law and LGBTQ issues, reported last week that he has been receiving emails and tweets with anti-Semitic slurs and death threats every week.

“I get death threats,” he wrote in an article for Slate. “They want to kill me, they explain; they have a plan. And not just me, but people like me. The Jews who want to ruin this country. The gays who defiled it. The journalists who committed treason. All of us will soon get what we deserve, they tell me.”

Stern says that he has been on the receiving end of identity-oriented harassment starting when Trump began to dominate the news cycle and Stern began to speak out against him.

“Trump supporters are attempting to intimidate journalists like me into silence by threatening our lives,” he told the Jewish Week. “Trump is doing hardly anything at all to stop them or even dissuade them. Journalists and minorities are in danger right now. Americans need to pay attention.”

Emmy Rossum, the Jewish star of ‘Shameless,’ reported receiving anti-Semitic death threats in the wake of the election results, including messages “threatening to send me & my ‘ilk’ to the gas chambers," according to news reports.

“Sadly, the contentious tone from the 2016 election has translated into a moment of ripeness for the haters to deface properties across the country with some of the most unsettling anti-Semitic and racist imagery,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, in a public statement. “We must not let this troubling trend of hate define our society, which means that the onus is on our community leaders, religious clergy, elected officials and others to remain vigilant, report incidents when they surface and make clear that this level of vitriol will not be tolerated.”

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