N.Y. hate crimes task force probing attack in Brooklyn


(JTA) — An arson attack in a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn is being investigated as a hate crime.

Three cars were set afire in the Midwood section of the New York borough early on the morning of Nov. 11. The sidewalk and park benches nearby also were spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti, including "F— the Jews" and Nazi swastikas. "KKK" was painted on a nearby van.

The attack came the day after the commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht, a pogrom carried out by the Nazis against Germany’s Jews in which hundreds of synagogues were torched, the windows of thousands of Jewish businesses were smashed, 100 Jews were killed and 30,000 more were taken to concentration camps.

The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.

Dozens of empty beer bottles were found at the scene of the vandalism, and reportedly will be tested for fingerprints and DNA, the New York Daily News reported.

"The fact that this most recent attack came on the heels of the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht may or may not be a coincidence," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "Either way, this kind of hateful act has no place in the freest city in the freest country in the world."

The mayor called the person or persons who perpetrated the attack "twisted."

New York Councilman David Greenfield offered a $1,000 reward and the Anti-Defamation League offered a $4,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the attack.

Also on Nov. 11, New York police said they arrested a man who allegedly painted swastikas in five separate incidents in Queens.

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