City Council speaker addresses spike in anti-Semitic crimes in NYC

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined other council members and Jewish leaders in Brooklyn Monday to speak out about anti-Semitic attacks that have been happening with alarming frequency across the city.

Johnson said NYPD data shows an 82 percent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the first four months of 2019, including two recent incidents under investigation in Brooklyn.

In one case, four men in a car with TLC license plates shouted anti-Semitic remarks at a 42-year-old Hasidic man who was wearing traditional religious attire in Borough Park.

They say the same group made similar comments to two teenage boys on the same day.

Johnson said the incidents should push elected officials to do more to end these hate crimes.

"The vile, vile evil of anti-Semitism is still present in our city and throughout the entire world," Johnson said. "I want everyone in our great city, the greatest city in the world, to feel safe and to feel protected."

"It's too much here, in the City of New York, our great city, which is the Mosaic and should be kept that way," said Rabbi David Niederman.

City council leaders are hoping to provide help and community outreach through a newly formed Office of Hate Crime Prevention.

"We need to be proactive rather than reactive and make sure that we go out and educate the public," said Council member Chaim Deutsch.

Council members are pushing the mayor for full funding, which is still being determined during current budget negotiations.

"This new office will do outreach and training in communities, and educate people about the impact and effect of hate crimes," said Johnson.

Concern over the violence is not just being felt in Williamsburg but also in neighboring communities.

"They are destroying the well-being of our city," said Council member Mathieu Eugene. "And this is the reason why all of us we should stand together continue to stand together."
According to the NYPD, there were 340 hate crimes against Jews last year, second only to California.

The Anti-Defamation League reports anti-Semitic attacks doubled across the U.S. during the same time period.

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