Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jewish Williamsburg Latest Target of Swastika Graffiti 

The country's post-election hate crime wave has now hit Williamsburg, where residents at the Independence Towers in the southern part of the Brooklyn neighborhood discovered swastikas and the slogan "KKK" and "Trump" graffitied on the stairwell Friday.

"Such messages are extremely painful and when dismissed and ignored, it can escalate into physical attacks, God forbid," Rabbi David Niederman, President of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn, told DNAInfo. Williamsburg contains one of the largest Hasidic Jewish communities in the world.

Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented a rise in bias incidents, with 700 of them occurring in the week after the results were announced. Some of the episodes have taken place even in liberal bastions like New York, including anti-Semitic vandalism against a Brooklyn park named for Beastie Boys star Adam Yauch and swastikas found in the lobby of New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman's apartment building.

"[W]e will prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, the perpetrators of any of this ugliness and divisiveness," he told a crowd at a church in Harlem. "Because it's not happening in this state."

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