Anti-Semitism On The Rise: Jewish Bookstore Manager Attacked in Manhattan

On Monday, the manager of a Jewish book store in the Upper West Side of Manhattan was the subject of an anti-Semitic attack by an agitated man repeatedly yelling “F*** the Jews.”

Haartz reports that the attacker, who was an African-American man in his twenties and claimed to be a Muslim, was seen pacing back and forth at around 1:15 p.m. in front of West Side Judaica, a store that has been selling Jewish religious and cultural materials since 1934. The 52-year-old Jewish shop manager went out to see what the man was doing and was verbally attacked and hit in the face by the assailant, although no serious injuries were reported.

The 5-foot-10 suspect, who was reported to have been wearing a red jacket and blue jeans, fled the scene on a Razr scooter.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident. The attack on the Jewish shop manager is another in a string of anti-Semitic attacks that have taken place in New York City this year.

NYPD hate crimes

“It exploded and there was fire. They were shocked. An Israeli woman was walking by and ran over to check if they were okay. Thank God, it missed them and landed on the pavement. It was a male that threw it at them but they only got to see his back because he ran away. They didn’t hear him shout or say anything.”

In response to the fire-bomb attack on Jewish students, the NYPD increased security in Jewish neighbourhoods.

Furthermore, two separate incidents of Jewish men in their twenties wearing Orthodox religious wear being shot with a BB gun were also reported. One of the attacks happened on September 11 and the second happened on September 18, both around the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Both attacks happened near the Lander College for Men in Kew Gardens, Queens.

Jews attacked

“We have antisemitism exploding around the globe and an increase in New York City in the last year. We are going to take these attacks very seriously and are glad that the NYPD is doing so, as well.”

And, on mid-November, a Jewish businessman named Moshe Indig was also the victim of an alleged attack, this time by a Muslim cabdriver in New York City. Indig gave a detailed account of the incident, as reported by Israel National News.

“I took a cab from Manhattan to Brooklyn yesterday at 8 PM. I asked the driver to make a phone call. He refused but then relented and put the call on the speaker. When he saw that I was speaking Hebrew, he said: ‘I hate the people and the language you are speaking. If I had known that you were a Jew, I would not have given you the call.’ When he dropped me off in Brooklyn I started walking and suddenly he got out of the vehicle and ran toward me and started punching me in the head. I was immediately concerned that he might have a knife or some other weapon, so I hit him forcefully. He grabbed my kippah and my cellphone and ran away.”

Hate crimes had risen in New York City by three percent over the previous year as of September 13 with 221 cases recorded. In 2014, 213 incidents of hate crimes including anti-Semitic attacks towards Jewish people were reported over the entire year, according to statistics from the NYPD.

[Feature image by Adam Berry/Getty Images]