NYC and L.A. probe antisemitic attacks after Middle East violence

FAN Editor

Investigations are underway in New York and Los Angeles after antisemitic attacks targeting people in both cities this week. 

In New York City, a man was attacked last night during dueling rallies over the conflict in Israel and Gaza. In one instance, chaos erupted in New York City’s Times Square as someone riding in a pro-Palestinian caravan tossed fireworks into a crowd of pro-Israel protesters.

A 29-year-old Jewish man was also attacked by a mob of men. One, who used a crutch as a weapon, was later charged with a hate crime.

In Los Angeles earlier this week, Jewish diners at a restaurant were set upon by a group of men yelling antisemitic slurs.

Since the fighting in the Middle East began, the number of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. has jumped — 193 in the week after the crisis began, up from 131. Antisemitic posts on social media have also increased.

“We are seeing a level of antisemitism related to the conflict in the Middle East that is beyond quantifiable,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.

Synagogues are also being targeted. In Utah, a swastika was found carved in the glass. And in Arizona, a brick was thrown through a synagogue window.

“This act of hatred happen to us it feels like a real shattering,” said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim in Tucson.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said police are stepping up security around synagogues and other Jewish sites throughout the city. There, and in Los Angeles, several other possible hate crimes linked to the Mideast tensions are now being investigated by police.

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