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article imageAnti-Jewish vandalism in Brooklyn community

By Sadiq Green     Nov 12, 2011 in Crime
Brooklyn - Bigotry reared its ugly head in Brooklyn, NY early Friday morning. New York City Police are looking into anti-Jewish graffiti and arson that was discovered in the predominantly Jewish section of Midwood. Police are handling the incident as a hate crime.
Stunned neighborhood residents were awakened to flames and thick black smoke pouring from cars. Several cars were burned and others were painted with swastikas and the letters "KKK", and nearby benches were spray-painted with Nazi swastikas and “SS” - the initials of Hitler’s brutal Gestapo - and “f**k the Jews” was scrawled on a sidewalk. Police recovered at least four gas containers and a dozen beer bottles from the block of Ocean Parkway, between Avenues I and J. The anti-Jewish incident is being probed by Hate Crimes Task Force.
“New York City is home to more than 8 million of the most open and tolerant people in the world. But even here, there are occasional incidents involving actions that are hateful or vicious or both.” – NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
18-year-old Arlette Tebele, whose mother’s vehicle was charred by the flames, told the NY Daily News that she was in an upstairs bedroom in her home that overlooks the street when she heard “laughing and screaming,” about 5:30 a.m. “It was a group of kids. There was a series of explosions. The three cars were all on fire. It spread from the first car, to the second car, to the third.”
Staten Island City Councilman David Greenfield’s office offered a $1,000 and the Anti-Defamation League has offered an additional $4,000 information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. The incident occurred on the heels of the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazis' 1938 anti-Jewish attack that left 91 Jews dead, damaged more than 1,000 synagogues and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses throughout Nazi Germany.
“The Nazi imagery and the burning of cars in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood is a chilling echo of a troubling past." - Ron Meier, ADL New York regional director.
Also Friday, police made an arrest in a separate swastika incident in Queens. Police say Franco Rodriguez, 40, was identified via video surveillance and reportedly confessed to spray-painting the swastikas on libraries, a synagogue and a Catholic church between Oct. 30 and Nov. 4 in Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. He was charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti. Police do not believe he is connected to the Midwood hate crimes.
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