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Anti-Jewish hate crimes surged 214% in October, NYPD says

A protester wrapped in an Israeli flag during a rally for the release of hostages in Gaza held by Hamas operatives in the Times Square neighborhood of New York, US, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. The Qataris have been negotiating with Hamas to try to secure the release of around 200 people captured from Israel on Oct. 7 and taken to Gaza, according to officials familiar with the discussions, who asked not to be named. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Stephanie Keith  (Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg)
By Katia Porzecanski Bloomberg

Bias incidents against Jews in New York City more than tripled in October, according to preliminary data from the New York Police Department.

There were 69 anti-Jewish incidents probed by the NYPD last month, up from 22 a year earlier. The NYPD investigated eight hate crimes against Muslims in that period, up from none a year prior. The data is still subject to change upon further investigation.

The Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the Jewish nation’s response has roiled the New York metro area, home to a quarter of U.S. Jews.

There have been almost daily protests on its streets and campuses, and the city’s Jewish community has been rattled by antisemitic events that have included swastikas etched on storefronts, assaults and harassment.

Hamas is classified as a terrorist group by the U.S. and European Union.

Friends Seminary, a private school near Union Square, told parents Thursday it was notified of a swastika found drawn in chalk about a block away from the school on Third Avenue and East 16th street.

“This was horrific for the students, families and employees who encountered it and heard about it,” Bo Lauder, the head of school, said in an email.

There is no evidence a member of the school community was involved in drawing the swastika, “but that does not negate the impact its presence has had,” Lauder said.

Columbia University, where an Israeli student was attacked outside the library, earlier this month said it’s providing expanded safety escort services and forming a task force on antisemitism following “a series of antisemitic incidents” on campus. New York University released a 10-point plan after hearing from many “deeply concerned” about their safety.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she’s ordered an investigation into discrimination and antisemitism at City University of New York, and set aside $75 million for local police and houses of worship in response to antisemitism and hate crimes.

“You can vigorously oppose Israel’s response following the attack on their people, but still be vigorously opposed to terrorism, Hamas, antisemitism and hate in all of its forms,” Hochul said last month.

—With assistance from Laura Nahmias and Amanda Gordon.