Flora

Five Jews stabbed with machete as antisemitic attacks grow in New York

 

There has been an acute rise of antisemitic attacks in New York that need to be addressed.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes have grown to alarming high numbers over the past several months. With an attack on Jewish New Yorkers every day last week. This alongside the anti-Semitic mass shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J. that left three people dead. Alongside the Orthodox man who was stabbed in Monsey on his way to a local synagogue. Alongside the home invasion and machete stabbings of five Jews inside a Rockland County home.

Monday

A 65-year-old man said he was punched and kicked near Manhattan by another man who was yelling “F*** you, Jew.”

Tuesday

A 25-year-old man in Brooklyn told police a group of people began yelling anti-Semitic slurs at him as he walked. One of them also threw their drink at him.

Wednesday

On Christmas Day, a 40-year-old man dressed in “traditional religious clothing” walking home was approached by an individual who blocked his path. That individual allegedly punched the victim in the face when the man tried to let him pass.

Thursday

A woman was charged with assault as a hate crime after she attacked a 34-year-old Jewish woman in front of her child.

Friday

On Friday, a man walked into the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters and threatened to shoot and kill people in the center.

This all culminated with the attack on Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home Saturday. Five Hasidic Jews were stabbed wildly with a machete athome as they lit candles for the 7th day of Hanukkah.

At 10pm, the suspect concealed his face with a scarf as he busted into the home and started wielding his machete back and forth, trying to hit everyone. Josef Gluck recalled the assailant screamed at him, “Hey you, I’ll get you” during the attack.

In terror, people fled the living room. Gluck dashed into the kitchen, scooping up a small child and then going down a back porch. When he returned, he saw an older victim bleeding heavily and then tried to confront the attacker. “I grabbed an old antique coffee table and I threw it at his face,” Gluck said.

Multiple people had been stabbed by the machete, but the toll would have been much worse had those assembled not fought back, hitting the intruder with pieces of furniture, forcing him to retreat.

Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home after machete attack

The suspect, Grafton Thomas, 38, was later arrested in Harlem after police traced his license plate using a photo Mr. Gluck had taken of the intruder’s car as he fled the scene.

The New York Police Department stated on Friday that it was stepping up patrols in Jewish neighborhoods after the series of anti-Semitic incidents last week. Now with the multiple attempt murders Saturday, Orthodox Jewish elected officials implored the governor to declare a state of emergency and deploy the New York National Guard to protect Jewish enclaves across the state. The letter to Mr. Cuomo can be viewed here.

ADL regional director Evan Bernstein told CNN. “This is beyond policing. These are communal problems, societal problems, that we need to get ahead of.” Bernstein said attacks on the Jewish community were under-reported because Orthodox populations were unfamiliar with technology or too isolated to notify authorities. “There’s a fear of reporting, a fear of retaliation or they don’t understand how to report incidents,” Bernstein said.

The twitter-verse is currently arguing whether more police is the answer in Jewish neighborhoods. What is clear is under no circumstance should we allow this to become the new normal. It’s up to us to be vocal, present and community defense systems for each other.