Sunday, November 13, 2011
Marchers protest burned cars in B'klyn Jewish enclave
Brooklyn elected officials and Jewish community leaders demanded aggressive police action on Sunday after two attacks targeting Jews left residents on edge.
A Hasidic man was attacked in Williamsburg and cars were burned in Midwood on Friday. Both brash, anti-Semitic acts require more cops, City Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) said, while standing alongside Satmar rabbis near the mugging site.
A group of Hispanic men broke the nose of social worker Nochum Elek, 51, while he was walking on Williamsburg’s Ross Street, cops said.
Elek and cops described the attack a “mugging,” rather than a hate crime.
The NYPD is also hunting bigots who on Friday torched three parked cars along an Ocean Parkway block and scrawled hateful messages and symbols on benches, sidewalks and a van. Investigators are lifting finger prints and DNA from 27 Corona beer bottles found near the crime scene.
“The Jewish community has to be protected now,” Lentol said. “We see a pattern going on. Whatever it takes. I think that the mayor of the city of New York and the police commissioner should understand that this is going to require not only police presence here, but in every Jewish community.”
Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, said rabbis plan to meet with police brass soon.
“We look forward to sit down with Headquarters and our local precinct to make sure exactly what we feel has to be done and it is a duty upon them to respond," Niederman told the crowd of about 50 Hasidic men, women, and kids. “Everyone is proud that our city is the safest city. And we want to be part of that city that is the safest.”
During the press conference, a vigilante group joined the crowd and started screaming, “Get lost!” as the politicians wrapped up their talk.
“They are not going to help us. They are only out here for the votes,” said Rabbi Nauchem Rosenberg, before other Hasidic men threatened to hit him if he didn’t stop shouting.
Also in Brooklyn on Sunday, a throng of religious Jews gathered in Midwood near where the cars were torched. They marched with Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) and state Senator Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn), in a show of force designed to demanded more officers in the area.
Both attacks happened a day after the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a violent prelude to the Holocaust when Nazis attacked synagogues and other Jewish establishments in Germany in 1938.