Spray-painted swastika (illustrative).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – The Anti-Defamation League said it was “deeply troubled” on Thursday by the vandalism of a hassidic home in Brooklyn last week.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Tuesday that swastikas and the words “Hitler was a hero” were scrawled on the door of a three-family home in Brooklyn with haredi Orthodox residents.
The vandalism, which reportedly follows a string of harassment incidents against the home’s residents, occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section, a once predominantly African- American neighborhood that has become gentrified in recent years and seen a growing number of hassidim move in.
The New York Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“This shocking incident, which based on the words used in the graffiti, was clearly motivated by extreme anti-Jewish animus,” ADL’s New York regional director, Evan R. Bernstein, said. “It is deeply troubling when individuals are targeted, harassed, or persecuted for their religious beliefs.”
Bernstein added that the ADL continues to urge community leaders across the board, as well as elected officials, to “make their voices heard in denouncing such appalling acts of hate.”
Last week the organization had expressed “deep concern” over anti-Semitic incidents in New York City. ADL said it has documented about a dozen attacks targeting the Jewish community that took place across the five boroughs of the city since September 2015.
The organization, which fights anti-Semitism through programs and services, recently announced “50 States Against Hate,” an initiative to expand and strengthen hate crimes laws in New York and around the country in partnership with more than three dozen national civil rights, civic, religious and cultural organizations.
However, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office maintains that there is “absolutely no statistical difference” in anti-Semitic crimes from 2014 to 2015 in New York City.