NEW YORK (Nov. 11)
Vandalism against Jewish-owned stores in the heavily Orthodox Boro Park section of Brooklyn Friday night or early Saturday has aroused serious concern among community leaders who believe it was a premeditated act of anti-Semitism planned to coincide with the 47th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the destruction of Jewish property in Nazi Germany during the night of November 8-9, 1938.
Rabbi Israel Steinberg, director of community relations of the New York State Division of Human Rights, a Boro Park resident, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the windows of 14 Jewish-owned or Jewish-identified shops were smashed with “heavy rocks” along a 10-block stretch of 13th Avenue, the neighborhood shopping center.
Non-Jewish shops and businesses were untouched, he said. There was no graffiti or slogans. The vandalism occurred between midnight Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday. Steinberg said damage to the windows alone would amount to about $3,000. Merchandise was damaged but there were no thefts.
FEELS VANDALISM WAS ‘WELL PLANNED’
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the district, said he inspected the damage Sunday. He told the JTA he was convinced the vandalism was “well planned” and “methodical.” He agreed with Steinberg that the act could have been timed to coincide with the Kristallnacht anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the passage of the “Zionism is Racism” resolution by the UN General Assembly on, November 10, 1975. He also suggested that the anti-Semitic attacks by the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, could have been a factor.
Hikind noted that more Holocaust survivors live in Boro Park than in any other part of the country. Steinberg said the rock-throwers must have been outsiders. He said there have been no racial incidents in the neighborbood.
Hikind and Steinberg, who met yesterday with Capt. Donald Thrash of the 66th Precinct, said the police have classified the vandalism as a “bias incident,” meaning racially motivated and detectives of the special “bias squad” have been assigned to the investigation.
But Sgt. Diane Kubler of the Police Department’s information office told the JTA there was no evidence yet to “substantiate” racial motivation. She said detectives are canvassing the area for witnesses. So far no suspects have been apprehended.