Reward offered for anti-Semitic arsonists

November 12, 2011 5:42:58 AM PST
Three cars were set on fire, with anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on them, in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.

The message sent out to the predominately Jewish residents of Midwood this morning, and if the firebombing of three cars didn't spell it out clearly enough, well, with daybreak it became all too clear.

Right next to the cars, anti-semitic slurs spray painted on park benches.

This, in a neighborhood where nearly everyone lost someone in the holocaust.

This latest incident comes on the heels of several vandalism cases involving swastikas, including one last Friday in Queens in which a synagogue and two libraries were targeted, but the firebombing, that's different.

"It is clear to me that some thug or thugs attempted to recreate the tragic events of Kristallnacht in NaziGermany and Austria on the nights of November 9 and 10, 1938. The horrific and despicable hate crime scene discovered in Midwood this morning was nothing short of intentionally intimidating not only Jewish members of our community, but all peace loving people who reject intolerance, anti-Semitism, and violence," Assymbleman William Colton said yesterday in a press release.

The cars were found burning on Ocean Parkway just after 5 a.m. this morning.

No arrests were immediately made.

Councilman David Greenfield immediately offered a $1,000 reward.

In addition, the ADL has offered a $4,000.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms these shocking acts of anti-Semitism," said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director. "The Nazi imagery and the burning of cars in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood is a chilling echo of a troubling past. This week we marked the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night when Jewish property and windows were shattered in Germany, which signified the beginning of the Nazis' public persecution of German Jews. It is sickening that decades later, Jews continue to be targeted by hateful crimes and it is necessary to act to bring those responsible to justice."