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New York City grapples with sharp rise in hate crimes targeting Jewish people

Study details how media covers antisemitism
New study investigates how media covers antisemitism 05:02

Hate crimes against Jewish people in New York City surged last month, more than quadrupling in February compared to same month last year, according to New York Police Department statistics.

Police logged 56 suspected antisemitic hate crimes citywide in February, up from 11 in February 2021. In January there were 15 such crimes recorded by police. The spike in antisemitic crimes comes amid rising hate incidents against multiple groups in New York, including increases in anti-Asian and anti-Black attacks, as well as crimes targeting people for their sexual orientation.

Eric Dinowitz, the chair of the New York City Council's Jewish Caucus, said the crimes resonate beyond their immediate victims.

"When antisemitic hate crimes are on the rise, the entire Jewish community feels it. The entire Jewish community feels the pain, they share in the pain and they share in the anxiety," Dinowitz said. "That's what hate crimes do, we see it with our, Asian American brothers and sisters, as hate crimes are on the rise in that community as well."

Dinowitz said he plans to propose legislation that would expand the information the NYPD is required to publish each month, including the results of hate crime and bias arrests. 

In one such attack, CBS New York reports police launched a hate crimes investigation after a man dressed in traditional Hasidic clothing was punched in the face while walking down the street in Brooklyn on February 4. In another incident on February 11, a Brooklyn man said a person got out of a car and asked him for directions, before lunging forward to swipe the man's yarmulke off his head.

That incident was denounced by another City Council member, Farah Louis, whose district includes the location of the attack.

"The sporadic and all-too-frequent attacks against our Jewish neighbors are indefensible with dire consequences for the victim, their family, and our community as a whole," Louis said in a statement the next week.

The total number of hate crimes nationwide has increased every year but one since 2014, according to FBI data, which includes statistics through 2020. More than half of all religion-based hate crimes in the U.S. are crimes that target Jewish people, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group that tracks antisemitism. In 2020, 683 of the 1,244 crimes based on religion logged by the FBI were antisemitic. 

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