While hardly on the bloody scale of last Saturday’s massacre in Pittsburgh, physical assaults on Jews in New York City—not to mention anti-Semitic graffiti and similar acts of vandalism—are far more common than most would believe. Often the victims are visibly religious, and the attacks get relatively little attention from the press. Ginia Bellafante writes:
For several years now, expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment have made up the preponderance of hate-crime complaints in the city. [This year alone], there have been four times as many crimes motivated by bias against Jews—142 in all—as there have been against blacks. Hate crimes against Jews have outnumbered hate crimes targeted at transgender people by a factor of twenty.
Within the course of a few days this month, a swastika showed up on an Upper West Side corner and two ultra-Orthodox men were attacked on the street in ḥasidic neighborhoods in Brooklyn in separate incidents. In one of them, according to the police and prosecutors, a Muslim livery driver jumped out of a car and started beating up his victim, seemingly at random, yelling “Allah.” . . .
When a ḥasidic man or woman is attacked by anyone in New York City, mainstream progressive advocacy groups do not typically send out emails calling for concern and fellowship and candlelight vigils in Union Square, as they often do when individuals are harmed in New York because of their race or ethnicity or how they identify in terms of sex or sexual orientation. . . . Sympathies are distributed unevenly. Few are extended toward religious fundamentalists of any kind, who reach the radar of the urbane “Pod Save America” class only when stories appear confirming existing impressions of backwardness. . . .
The Anti-Defamation League . . . reported that nine of the twelve physical assaults against Jews categorized as hate crimes in New York State were committed in Brooklyn and involved victims who were easily marked as members of traditionally Orthodox communities. Outside that world, they were hardly noticed at all.