New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered state troopers to step up patrols at Jewish schools, synagogues and other community institutions after a spate of violent anti-Semitic attacks in the city and around the country amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
‘Anti-Semitic violence and intimidation is antithetical to the promise and purpose of New York State, and we will not tolerate it in any form,’ Cuomo said in a statement on Monday. ‘Hate has no place in our state, and we will continue to do everything in our power to help ensure Jewish New Yorkers — and New Yorkers of all faiths — have the peace, safety, and security they deserve.’
The State Police will be patrolling outside Jewish educational and religious facilities in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Nassau and Suffolk counties, especially between Friday evening and Saturday evening during the Jewish sabbath.
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Gov Andrew Cuomo on Monday ordered state troopers to step up patrols at Jewish institutions in New York after a string of anti-Semitic attacks
Waseem Awawdah, 23 (left), is accused of brutally beating Joseph Borgen, 29 (right), a Jewish accountant, who was attacked on his way to a pro-Israel rally at Times Square
Police will also conduct outreach to Jewish communities and address any security concerns.
The patrols follow a wave of hate crime attacks that include the beating of a Jewish man while he walked to a pro-Israel rally, a brick thrown through the window of a kosher pizzeria and people spitting on Jewish restaurant patrons in Midtown Manhattan.
In New York, the NYPD said 195 hate crimes were reported in NYC between January 1 and May 1, an increase of 71 per cent from the same period last year.
Although these figures did not reveal how many of the incidents were anti-Semitic, the Anti-Defamation League has identified an increase in attacks against Jews specifically.
The group received 193 reports of anti-Jewish incidents in the week after the Israel-Palestine crisis began, up from 131 the previous week.
Joseph Borgen, 29, an accountant, was brutally attacked by a group of Palestinian supporters as he headed to a pro-Israel rally in Times Square last Thursday.
Borgen told DailyMail.com that he was bludgeoned with crutches and a flag pole by as many as 10 people who hurled anti-Semitic abuse at him.
‘I thought I was going to die. I thought I was really going to die,’ said the brutalized man.
There were two anti-Jewish incidents in Brooklyn earlier this month. This image is a still from surveillance camera footage of the second one, which saw three men shout at Jews walking by a synagogue
Ali Alaheri, 29, is accused of torching the Jewish center near Borough Park earlier this month
Waseem Awawdeh, 23, was arrested for kicking, pepper-spraying and beating Borgen. He was arraigned on Saturday after allegedly making a confession.
‘If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again,’ he allegedly said.
In Brooklyn last week, one Jewish teenager was put in a chokehold after refusing to repeat anti-Semitic slurs, and another was chased with a baseball bat.
Around the same time and in the same neighborhood of Borough Park, three man approached four Jewish men walking outside a synagogue and yelled anti-Semitic slurs.
A car convoy flying Palestinian flags is pictured rolling through the Beverly Grove section of LA on May 18 before some of the men attacked Jewish diners at a restaurant
One of the suspects in the attack, identified as Danial Shaukat, 20, from Brooklyn, was later arrested and charged with aggravate harassment as a hate crime.
On Saturday, Ali Alaheri, 29, was charged with setting fire to a synagogue and a Jewish school in Brooklyn last week.
Los Angeles also has seen a spike in anti-Jewish attacks in recent months, but so far Gov Gavin Newsom has not deployed state troopers to address the Jewish community’s safety concerns.
Instead, volunteers have set up armed patrols to accompany Jewish people on their way to the synagogue, and the LAPD also has stepped up its presence outside Jewish institutions.
One local man, Steve Goldstein, 35, told the LA Times he had ‘never felt so scared being in Los Angeles’ after a series of high-profile attacks.
Cellphone video captured the unidentified man as he shouted ‘Jews should die’ at a rabbi outside the Chabad of South Broward, Florida. The man left and returned a short time later, carrying a bag that contained human feces (he is pictured dropping it off)
On May 18, a group waving Palestine flags pulled up at Sushi Fumi restaurant in Los Angeles’ bustling Beverly Grove neighborhood before shouting anti-Semitic abuse at Jewish customers and pelting them with bottles.
‘Somebody in one of the cars driving by started throwing glass bottles or glass cups at the tables and they shattered everywhere,’ a woman told CBSLA, adding that a group of about 30 charged the tables and began asking, ‘Who’s Jewish?’
Xavier Pabon, 30, of Banning, California, was arrested three days later and charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with that attack.
A day before the incident at the sushi eatery, Orthodox Jews had to run for safety as they were chased down by two cars bearing Palestinian flags.
The president on Monday called the recent string of attacks on Jews ‘despicable’ and said ‘it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor’
Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles said the father-of-six – who is too scared to be publicly identified – ‘literally had to run for his life’.
In Florida, a man yelled ‘Jews should die’ at a rabbi in front of the Chabad of South Broward on Hallandale Beach, before dumping a bag containing human feces outside the building and spitting on a menorah.
President Joe Biden criticized the wave of violence directed at Jewish Americans, tweeting Monday: ‘The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad – it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.’