BRIGHTON BEACH – The number of anti-Semitic incidents is up so much that it seems we are reporting about one a day some weeks. Earlier in November, two teenagers were arrested for drawing swastikas in Brooklyn Heights. No sooner was the man that vandalized the Union Temple arrested, that we get a report of a swastika found earlier today at a public library branch in Brighton Beach.
“Symbols of hate have no place in Brooklyn, and certainly no place in the library — a space where people come to learn, to read and to connect with their neighbors,” Library officials said. “We thank our staff at Brighton Beach Library for immediately alerting the police who are investigating; and the vile graffiti has now been removed. Acts of hate have no place in our community and we reject any attempt to make our community feel afraid.”
“I am disgusted and outraged to learn that some of our community’s children, families and seniors walked into the Brooklyn Public Library Brighton Beach branch – a branch that serves a community with a large number of Holocaust survivors, World War II veterans, and their descendants – only to be confronted with heinous, hateful anti-Semitic vandalism,” Councilmember Mark Treyger who represents the area sounded off.
“The frequency of reports detailing this kind of hate-filled behavior across our city in recent months is concerning, disturbing, and unacceptable. I have been made aware that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. Once the perpetrator is apprehended, I urge the Kings County District Attorney Office’s to prosecute this as a hate crime to the furthest extent possible under the law. We cannot relent in sending the message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable in this city – in any city or place – and will not be tolerated.”
“In a community of many Holocaust survivors, this is a particularly despicable crime,” emailed Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, who introduced a bill earlier this week in the City Council to “require educational outreach to community groups, schools, and among interfaith coalition groups to promote tolerance and teach about the impact of hate crimes.
“Nobody is born with hate in their hearts, and we can work in partnership to help people better understand and empathize with their fellow New Yorkers.”