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Anti-Semitism on the Rise, With Many Incidents Taking Place in Brooklyn: Report

One of the two swastikas spray painted on Newel Street. (Rob Guarino)

Feb. 18, 2020 By Kristen Torres

Brooklyn was the borough with the highest number of reported anti-Semitic incidents last year, according to a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League.

Anti-Jewish speech and propaganda appeared throughout all five boroughs in 2019, including on city subways, playgrounds, museums and even preschools.

The ADL released its findings last week, which revealed an increase in anti-Semitic attacks across the city—320 incidents took place in 2019, up from 254 the year prior.

Almost half of the reported incidents—137—took place in Brooklyn. The rest of the attacks largely happened in Manhattan, with 109 incidents, while Queens had 35 incidents, the Bronx had 11 and Staten Island had 27, according to the data.

The data shows harrowing reports of attacks on members of the Jewish community, including a Jewish man that was struck in the eye when a rock crashed through the window of his delivery van.

Another man was told “F— you Jew” and had a beer bottle thrown at him before he was hit in the face with one of the attackers’ belts.

A large number of incidents involved random assaults, including a man who was punched in the chest and a group of girls who were pelted with eggs while walking on the street.

New York also saw a 157 percent surge of distributed white supremacist propaganda, according to the data. There were 172 documented incidents in New York in 2019, which was up from 67 incidents recorded in the state the previous year.

“White supremacists consider propaganda distribution a convenient and anonymous way to promote their messages of hate and intolerance,” said Evan Bernstein, Vice President for the Northeast ADL Division.

“This dramatic surge in white supremacist fliering and propaganda distribution demonstrates how bigots are increasing efforts to spread their message,” he added.

The ADL has been tracking hate incidents across the country since 2002. The organization takes information from news coverage, government documents, victim reports and extremist-related sources.

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