Anti-Semitic offenses in NYC increased 214% in October due to Israel-Hamas war

Josh and Jack Lebewohl, the owners of 2nd Avenue Deli, share their experience of keeping the deli open after an antisemitic attack. During the month of October, hate crimes in New York City rose significantly, mostly due to a surge in anti-Semitic incidents that arose during the Israel-Hamas conflict.

On Wednesday, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) revealed the crime statistics for October, indicating a decline in hard crimes throughout the city. The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force investigated an increase in bias incidents, despite a decrease in crimes such as shootings, murders, burglaries, and grand larcenies across the five boroughs.

According to reports, there has been a significant increase in antisemitic acts recently. In what is being called an act of intimidation, two stars of David were allegedly painted by a duo. This incident adds to the growing concern about the rise in hate crimes against the Jewish community.

A crowd of Jews came together outside the New York City Public Library situated on 5th Ave. The motive behind this gathering was to protest against the growing issue of antisemitism. The event was named “End Jew Hatred in Manhattan.” A picture captured during the event shows the crowd holding up signs and banners as a form of protest. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/File).

During October, police looked into 101 incidents of bias, which is a 124% increase from the same period in 2022 when they investigated only 45 incidents. In October 2022, the task force looked into 22 incidents of anti-Jewish behavior. However, the number of incidents skyrocketed to 69 in the past month, marking a 214% increase. In October 2022, zero incidents of anti-Muslim behavior were reported. However, the previous month saw a total of eight incidents, which were investigated by the city, as per the statistics.

Cornell University has decided to cancel classes for Friday due to what the school has described as “extraordinary stress.” This decision came after the university received antisemitic threats, causing concern and fear among its students, faculty, and staff. The university administration has reassured everyone that they are taking the necessary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire Cornell community.

A Jewish Deli in New York City fell victim to vandalism as a Swastika was found painted on its walls. The incident was shared on Instagram by the 2nd Ave. Deli, showing the hateful symbol prominently displayed on their storefront.

Although hate crimes were reported, the year-to-date statistics show a decrease in such incidents. As of October, 485 cases were investigated, which is lower than the 531 cases that were investigated during the same period in the previous year. NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny reported last month that hate crimes have increased since the escalation of conflict between Israel and Hamas on October 7th.

According to him, hate crime has witnessed a surge since the incident in Gaza, although it is still on a decline year-to-date. A Sikh man lost his life in a tragic incident in New York City after a minor car accident, and now hate crime charges have been filed in connection with his death. The charges were brought forth after it was discovered that the victim was targeted due to his religion. This is a heartbreaking reminder of the discrimination and violence that certain communities face simply because of who they are. It is important that justice is served in cases like these to send a message that hate and bigotry will not be tolerated in our society.

Last month, the NYPD reported a surge in hate crimes following the escalation of conflict between Israel and Hamas on October 7th. This alarming increase has been a cause for concern among authorities. (Stock) According to Kenney, the majority of the acts of antisemitism were linked to graffiti, aggravated harassment, and criminal mischief. He highlighted that these crimes are often perceived as a form of free speech until they take a disturbing turn.

According to the report, there was a significant decline in shooting incidents during October 2023, with only 79 reported cases, compared to 86 in October 2022, resulting in an 8.1% drop. This adds to the overall decrease of 25.7% in shooting incidents throughout the year, with 839 reported in 2023 compared to 1,129 in 2022. These statistics are noteworthy and suggest positive progress towards a safer community.

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Between October 2022 and October 2023, there was a 5% increase in crimes within the transit system, with the number rising from 211 to 223. Similarly, crimes in housing developments rose from 470 to 521, depicting a 10.9% increase during the same period.

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