The terrorist attack on a Jewish congregation in Pittsburgh last weekend was almost universally condemned by people all over the country as an act of despicable hatred and bigotry, with even President Trump paying lip service to the evil inherent in the massacre before returning to the exact same rhetoric that inspired it, so central that it is to his Republican midterm election strategy.
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However, for a small and, yes, deplorable segment of the populace, the senseless murders were an inspiration to commit further acts of anti-Semitism to express the Trump-inspired fear and animosity their twisted minds have absorbed.
One of the first notable incidents of religious rancor post-Pittsburgh came earlier this week in Brooklyn, New York when racist vandals defaced a reform Jewish synagogue by spray painting the walls with “Kill all Jews,” the slogan that the accused shooter at the Pennsylvania synagogue continued to shout even as he was being treated by Jewish medical staff at a local hospital after being wounded in the shootout with the police who captured him.
Now an even more deadly form of anti-Semitism has been perpetrated in the same Brooklyn neighborhood with reports of arson at seven Hasidic Jewish institutions in the New York City borough, in a sad example of how bigotry is not restricted to the South, the Rust Belt, and America’s rural areas. places where fear of people who don’t look, act, and think exactly like the majority is much more common than in diverse urban areas in the NorthEast.
Local politicians City Council Member Stephen Levin and State Senator Martin Dilan issued a statement with some of the details about this latest manifestation of religious prejudice that undermines the fundamental principles of religious liberty enshrined in our Constitution.
“Earlier this morning, NYPD’s 90th Precinct received reports of fires at seven different locations throughout South Williamsburg,” the statement says. “The perpetrator set fires at local yeshivas and synagogues in the predominantly Hasidic community.”
“Tragically, it would seem these types of attacks are becoming all too common,” the politicians continued. “Words and speech are as real as any weapon, and I again call on the current administration to unequivocally denounce every and all hate groups. We need to do everything in our power to deny hate safe harbor, whether in Pittsburgh, Charleston, or here in Williamsburg.”
Luckily, due to the help of a volunteer neighborhood patrol, the Williamsburg Shomrim, the New York City Police Department was able to identify and arrest a man suspected of committing the acts of arson.
— Williamsburg News (@WmsbgNews) November 2, 2018
Anti-Semitic incidents have mounted in New York City in the week since the Pittsburgh slayings, according to New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch.
This week in NYC
▪️a swastika in Brooklyn Heights
▪️a swastika in the Upper West Side
▪️anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled inside Union Temple
▪️Nazi paraphernalia sold on @amazon
▪️anti-Semitic license plate revoked in Queens
▪️Jewish man verbally threatened in Crown Heights
— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) November 2, 2018
With President Trump’s hateful propaganda campaign dominating cable news in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, it’s perfectly clear where the inspiration for these latest expressions of malice originate. It’s also perfectly clear what we all must do to stop Trump from being rewarded for his divisive rhetoric: vote the Republicans in Congress and in state and local governments out of office on Tuesday with all the force we can muster.
You can see more coverage of the Brooklyn fires in the tweets below.
Lee x Rodney area @FDNY on scene with multiple garbage fires, all in front of a shul, Neitra, Chareidim, Sharmash, and 555 Bedford, as per witnesses it’s a male with a red hoodie who set it on. FD keeps on getting more locations. pic.twitter.com/33ejPHTgdk
— Williamsburg News (@WMSBG) November 2, 2018
Update: @FDNY Marshal investigators along with @NYPDDetectives going around now collecting evidence and reviewing surveillance cameras, perp also broke into Krasna Cheider and set a fire inside the building, also set a fire by Binyan Ostreicher on Wythe Ave. pic.twitter.com/QzZPfMKDkj
— Williamsburg News (@WMSBG) November 2, 2018
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Original reporting by Noor Al-Sibai at RawStory.