THE AMERICA ONE NEWS
May 28, 2024  |  
0
 | Remer,MN
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM Sports Media Index – Perfect for Fantasy Sports Fans.
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM Sports Media Index – Perfect for Fantasy Sports Fans. Track media mentions of your fantasy team.
back  
topic
NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:Lax law enforcement is helping antisemitic attacks reach new heights

The video footage is disturbing. An ultra-Orthodox Jew standing outside of a kosher grocery store on Staten Island with his young child when a car rolls past and the driver shoots them with a pellet gun.

In another video, an ultra-Orthodox Jew is attacked with a fire extinguisher in Williamsburg.

These are just two examples of assaults against visibly Jewish victims that took place in New York last year.

Detailed by the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, they’re part of its annual Antisemitism Worldwide Report, published earlier this week in cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

In recent years, America’s social and political climate has become fertile ground for antisemitism. While antisemitism in the United States used to be identified with the far-right, it has found fertile ground in today’s culture wars.

Also concerning — and not just for Jews, but all minority communities — are the large gaps between arrests for antisemitic crimes and the successful prosecutions and convictions of these incidents as hate crimes.

The data collected and analyzed in our report is not encouraging. Indeed, 2021 was already a bad year for antisemitism thanks to exceptional circumstances –  or “trigger” events – such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the May Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza.

In fact, 2021 saw a record high of anti-Jewish incidents in the United States — and last year the problem only worsened. 

A recent study not only revealed that anti-Jewish attacks are way up in major urban areas but in New York City, at least, they’re almost entirely concentrated in a handful of Brooklyn neighborhoods popular with Orthodox Jews.
Paul Martinka

The ADL documented 3,697 anti-Jewish incidents in 2022 compared to 2,717 in 2021, the highest ever recorded. This included 111 assaults across the United States compared to 88 in 2021 and 61 in 2019.

Data from the three metropolitan areas in the United States with the largest Jewish populations – New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago – reflects a similar trend: In 2022, the New York Police Department recorded 261 anti-Jewish hate crimes, including 30 incidents of assault, while the Los Angeles Police Department tallied 86 anti-Jewish hate crimes and the Chicago Police Department recorded 38 anti-Jewish hate crimes. Again, major spikes in every city.

Through an analysis of the location and victims of antisemitic physical assaults, our study revealed that in New York City, most attacks occurred on streets or public transportation in neighborhoods with high concentrations of ultra-Orthodox Jews. Specifically, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Borough Park, and Midwood in Brooklyn.

Our research also indicates that most of these attacks were not premeditated.

The rise in antisemitic assaults has seen a relatively commensurate jump in suspect arrests, but getting those suspects convicted of a hate crime has proven to be very difficult.

The rise in antisemitic assaults has seen a relatively commensurate jump in suspect arrests, but getting those suspects convicted of a hate crime has proven to be very difficult.

Alongside the rise in antisemitic incidents, the gaps in arresting and prosecuting the perpetrators of antisemitic violence are also problematic. Of the 261 anti-Jewish hate crimes recorded by the NYPD in 2022, only 72 arrests have been made.

By comparison, of the 83 anti-Asian hate crimes recorded by the NYPD in 2022, 67 arrests have been made, while of the 53 anti-Black hate crimes, only nine arrests have been made.

The picture is also not encouraging when it comes to prosecuting these incidents as hate crimes. An investigative report published in The City in March 2022 examined data on 569 hate crime arrests in New York City between 2015 and 2020. According to the report’s authors, while 65% of those arrests ended with convictions, hate crime charges were dropped in most cases – a mere 15% of hate crime arrests ended in hate crime convictions.

Moreover, there are pronounced differences between boroughs; Manhattan had the highest tally with 23% of hate crime charges resulting in convictions, and the Bronx the lowest with a scant 1.1%.

The rise in anti-Asian activity a few years back has also caught the city off-guard; luckily it's proven easier to secure hate crime convictions in such cases.

The rise in anti-Asian activity a few years back has also caught the city off-guard; luckily it’s proven easier to secure hate crime convictions in such cases.
John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock

Often, a lack of evidence – or corroborating eyewitnesses – makes it difficult for hate crime charges to stick. But adding to the problem are plea bargain agreements that result in hate crime charges being dropped in order to secure convictions on lesser counts. This is not to suggest that hate crimes are not taken seriously by prosecutors, but reflects, in part, the difficulty they face in proving the charges in court.

Which is why data regarding hate crime convictions in 2022 is so depressing. According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, there were 118 open hate crime cases (45 anti-Asian; 27 anti-LGBTQ+; 15 anti-Jewish; 11 anti-Black) in Manhattan as of the end of October 2022.

Of these, the DA’s office had initiated 82 hate crime prosecutions and secured 15 hate crime convictions. A FOIL request to the Manhattan DA informed that only three indictments for anti-Jewish hate crimes were filed in 2022 by the Hate Crimes Unit in Manhattan.

The significant increase in antisemitic incidents across the United States has, of course, been taken seriously by many. Federal, state, and local governments and non-governmental organizations have invested heavily across the country in combating antisemitism through legislation, legal action, and education programming.

NYPD detectives and an NYPD hate crime unit at the scene of a bias attack in Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn in November 2020. The area has a large Sephardic Jewish population.

NYPD detectives and an NYPD hate crime unit at the scene of a bias attack on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn in November 2020. The area has a large Sephardic Jewish population.
Paul Martinka/ photographer

But the gaps between arrests, prosecutions, and convictions suggest that something is not working and existing approaches to fighting antisemitism need to be evaluated and improved. And both community groups and law enforcement must look inward and develop strategies to decrease antisemitic incidents and bring perpetrators to justice.

What, then, can be done?

Understanding where attacks occur and who the victims are allows for focused policing, including increasing officer presence in consistently problematic areas. Not only would this deter potential perpetrators, but it would build trust between law enforcement and local communities. Building such trust will improve incident reporting and cooperation.

The steep rise in anti-Jewish assaults last year was made even more worrisome because there were no major "trigger" events, such as 2021's Israel-Gaza fighting, which elicited a strong level of antisemitic sentiment.

The steep rise in anti-Jewish assaults last year was made even more worrisome because there were no major “trigger” events, such as 2021’s Israel-Gaza fighting, which elicited a strong level of antisemitic sentiment.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

While hate crime convictions may prove difficult to secure, district attorneys’ offices must nevertheless vigorously pursue criminal charges for even minor offenses to demonstrate that such incidents are not tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Moreover, victims must be made to feel that even if a hate crime conviction is not possible that justice has been done. Because no community will truly feel safe as long as antisemitism continues to rise unchecked.

Dr. Carl Yonker is a Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University