Mobile synagogue vandalized in Manhattan amid rise in antisemitic rhetoric, hate crimes

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Saturday, December 3, 2022
Mobile synagogue vandalized amid rise in antisemitism
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A mobile synagogue sitting on Broadway in the middle of SoHo is the focus of an NYPD hate crime investigation. CeFaan Kim has the stoy.

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- There are growing concerns among local Jewish communities about the national rhetoric and seemingly endless antisemitic attacks and vandalism in the New York City Tri-State area.

A mobile synagogue sitting on Broadway in the middle of SoHo is the focus of an NYPD hate crime investigation.

Police say it was vandalized on October 29, with the word "Palestine" sprayed painted on it.

Its owner says he's noticed a recent rise in antisemitism in the city.

"On the one hand it gets me scared that antisemitism is getting out of hand, another thing ... whenever you get hit you don't bend down. You stand up and rise ... goodness and kindness to make the world a better place regardless of what things are happening," mobile synagogue owner Yehuda Pevzner said.

Police have a photo of the man believed to have taken the train after vandalizing the mobile synagogue. Investigators think he's in his 20's.

According to the NYPD, the two groups seeing the highest rise in hate crime attacks this year are the LGBTQ and Jewish communities.

But while most LGBTQ hate crimes are against an individual, that's not the case with antisemitic hate crimes.

So far, there have been 76 LGBTQ hate crimes against a person versus 9 on properties.

Meanwhile, there have been 103 antisemitic hate crimes against a person versus 168 on properties.

President Joe Biden tweeted on Friday, "I just want to make a few things clear. The holocaust happened, Hitler was a demonic figure."

During an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the artist formerly known as Kanye West reportedly said he likes Hitler.

In response to a tweet West posted Friday of a swastika merged with Star of David, Elon Musk tweeted: "I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended."

Meanwhile the Anti-Defamation League and other groups that study online platforms say ever since Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, there's been a rise in hate speech on the platform.

However, Musk tweeted this on Friday:

"Hate speech impressions continue to decline, despite significant user growth."

"I see people approach and say different things, but we try to fight it by adding goodness and kindness and praying to god that it won't affect us," Pevzner said.

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