Currents News Staff
Cell-phone video shows a man hurling anti-Semitic insults at a group of Jewish men. Police say he punched a 67-year-old man in the face when he tried to enter a synagogue. The suspect was arrested and charged with assault, but the hate crimes task force is investigating. His arrest is the most recent in a string of assaults against Jewish people.
“That was probably the most pain I’ve been in quite a long time,” said assault victim Joseph Borgen.
Joseph Borgen recalled this terrifying assault in Times Square last Thursday. The 29-year-old, who was wearing a yarmulke, was on his way to a pro-Israel rally.
“Before I could even react, I was surrounded by a whole crowd of individuals who, yeah, as you mentioned, proceeded to kick me, punch me, hit me with flagpoles, crutches,” Joseph said.
He says the gang of attackers was yelling anti-Semitic slurs. The NYPD hate crimes task force is investigating and has made at least one arrest.
“There is increased anti-Semitism and we do need to be attentive to it,” said Rabbi Brad Hirschfield.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, with the National Jewish Center For Learning and Leadership, is right. This is just one of several anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred across the nation during and after the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Here in New York City, hate crimes reported to the NYPD stand at 202 so far this year, which is a 77-percent increase compared to the same point in 2020. Many of them were crimes against Jews.
Rabbi Hirschfield says anti-Israel and anti-Semitism are not the same – but that line has been crossed.
“We’re gonna really have to figure out what it means on all sides to support the causes we believe in, but not fuel them with historic hatreds and biases,” he said. “Simply because you believe your cause is good, it doesn’t mean everything you do in the name of that cause is good.”
When it comes to increased cop cars patrolling – the rabbi says he’s happy with the city’s response of adding more police patrols in Jewish neighborhoods. He also says the problem won’t be solved until people stop using politics to justify their hatred.