Monday, October 18, 2021

Vandalism reported at largely Jewish Brooklyn cemetery

New York police probing latest in a string of violations of Jewish cemeteries, amid nationwide surge in anti-Semitic incidents

The New York Police Department is investigating a report of possible vandalism at a predominantly Jewish cemetery.

An NYPD spokesman said Sunday that the department’s hate crimes division had been notified of headstones found toppled over at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted photos Saturday night showing some headstones on the ground. The Democrat says he’ll go to the cemetery Sunday to see them.

The Washington Cemetery was previously targeted in 2010, when some 200 headstones were toppled.

It would be the second Jewish burial ground in New York State to be defaced in the past week after five headstones were found toppled at a Rochester cemetery on Thursday morning.

The last two weeks saw vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, as well as two more waves of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers, schools and institutions across the country, representing the fourth and fifth waves of such harassment this year.

Authorities said Friday that Juan Thompson, a former journalist fired for fabricating details in stories, made at least eight of the scores of threats against Jewish institutions nationwide as part of a campaign to harass and frame his ex-girlfriend.

Last week, the New York Police Department said anti-Semitic incidents are up 94 percent in the city over the same time last year.

The figure is part of a 55% increase overall in the number of hate crimes in the city as compared to the same time last year. Through the first two months of 2017 and as of last week, 35 anti-Semitic incidents were reported, compared to 18 through February 2016.

Overall, the total number of hate crime incidents in the city for the first two months of 2017 was 68, up from 44 last year, according to the NYPD. Among the incidents, six people were targeted for being black, three for being Muslim and eight for their sexual orientation.

“Hate crimes are up in this city. They’re driven primarily by anti-Semitic hate crimes,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at a news conference last Wednesday.

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