New York’s surge in antisemitism explained

“If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again," one of the suspects arrested said.
Pro Palestinian protesters violently clash in Times Square on May 20, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

It’s been a violent couple of days in New York City with numerous unprovoked attacks against Jews.

Certain factions within Palestinian marches have been on the attack, singling out people who are Jewish or asking for people to identify if they are Jewish so they can confront them.

New York City is a Jewish city. Approximately 13% of New York is Jewish, making it the largest Jewish community outside of Israel. Some 1.5 million Jews call the New York metro area home, making it the second largest concentration of Jews outside of Tel Aviv. In the 1950s 1 out of 4 people living in New York were Jewish.

These attacks come after a dramatic increase worldwide in antisemitism.

Two Jewish teens beaten in Brooklyn

Early Saturday evening two teenagers in Midwood, Brooklyn, were surrounded by a mob who demanded that they yell antisemitic statements. When they refused they were beaten in the head and one was put in a chokehold. After managing to break free, the mob chased them with baseball bats. A Muslim Uber driver reportedly saw the attack and drove the teens to safety.

The mob then moved on to a nearby synagogue and harassed worshippers outside.

Jewish man hospitalized after being beaten in Times Square

A 29-year-old Jewish man was beaten in an unprovoked attack Thursday afternoon that sent him to the hospital.

Prosecutors say the attack was a hate crime, saying the attackers called the man a “dirty Jew” and said, “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.” 

Police arrested Thursday night 23-year-old Waseem Awawdeh of Brooklyn. He is charged with assault as a hate crime, gang assault, menacing, aggravated harassment as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon (the crutches he was using to walk which he allegedly used to beat his victims).

Video posted to TikTok showed Awadeh celebrating his release after posting his $10,000 bail. According to the NY Post prosecutors said Awadeh told a jailer: “If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again.”

Several more individuals are wanted in the attack.

“Fire bomb” thrown at crowd in Diamond District

Also on Thursday, a mob driving through the Diamond District fired fireworks and other incendiary devices at Jews on the street. Police say one woman was injured in the attack.

Two Jewish men attacked in front of NYPD

In another incident last week, video posted to social media shows two Jewish men assaulted right in front of an NYPD officer.

Mob attacks restaurant, ask diners if they are Jewish

A mob in Manhattan spotting Jewish diners at a restaurant attacked the diners, forcing the waitstaff to form a human barrier.

How did this happen?

NYPD admitted that a miscommunication prevented additional resources to be deployed to Jewish neighborhoods on Saturday. Since then they say they’ve increased police patrols in Jewish areas. There was no official explanation for the lack of policing during the marches on Thursday.