NEW YORK – Antisemitic hate crimes in New York City more than doubled last month from a year ago, New York Police Department data show – a troubling trend that unfolded against a backdrop of high-profile figures making headlines for remarks targeting Jewish people.
The five boroughs had 45 antisemitic crimes in November compared with 20 in November 2021, according to newly released NYPD statistics.
The 125% jump came the same month two men were busted for plotting to shoot up a city synagogue. Meanwhile, the musician Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has unleashed a steady stream of antisemitic and Hitler-praising remarks online and in interviews in recent weeks.
Closer to home, Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team” after posting a link to an antisemitic movie on social media.
Given the prevalence of hateful speech in the public sphere, former Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield called the increase in antisemitic attacks “sad, but not surprising.”
“We’ve seen the antisemitic rhetoric has increased across the United States, not just online but from local celebrities like Kyrie Irving (and) Ye as well,” he told the Daily News. “I think what’s happening is the extreme because mainstream people act on that.”
Antisemitic hate crimes have been on the rise in New York City throughout the year. The worst spike so far took place in February, during which 56 anti-Jewish hate crimes occurred, compared with 11 in February 2021.
Last month, Christopher Brown, 22 and Matthew Mahrer, 22, were arrested in Penn Station after plans to shoot up a synagogue they posted to social media were discovered.
An illegal Glock 17 firearm was recovered from the Upper West Side apartment where Mahrer lives with his parents.
In August, a 14-year-old boy was arrested for spraying two Orthodox Jewish men in the face with a fire extinguisher in separate Williamsburg incidents.
“Words have consequences, tweets have consequences,” Greenfield said. “It gives them the moxie to come out from under the rocks, because ‘If mainstream people are saying this, I guess we can too.’”
The former pol, who described himself as being “identifiably Jewish,” has noticed the antisemitic culture shift himself.
“I’ve definitely seen and heard more comments than ever before,” he said. “This really comes back to when you have an increase in the people in the ‘mainstream’ talking about this. Other people take notice and go with the flow.”
On other fronts, the city appears to be reversing some of its crime trends. November marked the first time this year to see a smaller total of major crimes than the same month last year, with an overall drop of 1%.
The NYPD classifies major crimes as murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and car theft.
Rapes dropped by 14%, burglaries by 6% and grand larcenies by 5%. Shootings dropped by nearly 33%, comparing this November to last. Crimes in the transit system also dipped by nearly 13%.
Despite the decreases, the city has seen a nearly 27% increase in major crimes since the start of the year, with robberies, felony assaults and car thefts still showing increases in November.
Murders overall have dropped by 11% this year, but November saw a 20% jump in killings – there were 30 last month, compared with 25 in November 2021.
Police brass touted a surge in gun arrests and the seizure of more than 6,600 firearms citywide this year.
“The women and men of the NYPD have continued to reduce shootings, take illegal guns off our streets, increase arrests to bring justice for crime victims, and improve police-community relationships in every New York City neighborhood,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a statement.
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