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NYPD: NYC Saw Significant Uptick In Anti-Semitic Crimes In 2018

January 03, 2019 - 3:58 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Local lawmakers say most violent crime in New York City was down in 2018, but there was a significant increase in anti-Semitic attacks.

The NYPD reported a record low of murders in the city in 2018, and noted shootings were down roughly 5 percent. However, there was a 22 percent increase in anti-Semitic crimes throughout the city as compared to 2017.

“We weren't surprised by the statistic at all,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Cooper notes that the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history took place in September 2018, when 11 people were killed inside a Pittsburgh synagogue.

He says that while the United States came together to support the Jewish community in the wake of the mass shooting, it also “unleashed a different reaction on the part of racists and bigots.”

“As a result we've seen a spike in hate crimes on campuses and in Jewish communities across the U.S. during the course of the last quarter of 2018,” Cooper said. “Of course a lot of this is also inspired, and validated, and multiplied through social media and other internet technologies. So local police authorities and, you know, hate crime units have their hands full.”

New York City saw an uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes following the Pittsburgh attack, including a Jewish man being attacked in the street by a taxi driver and a 14-year-old boy being targeted by a group of teens in Brooklyn.

In fact, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said there had been more than 100 anti-Semitic acts in New York City since September.

Cooper called the attackers “terrorists” and notes that while the damage is usually easy to fix, albeit costly, “the impact an entire community is just devastating.”