With Friday's burnt cars and anti-Semitic scrawls still fresh in their memory, Midwood community members and politicians took to the streets yesterday to make clear that they won't be standing for such attacks. "I feel wrong if I don't come and do something, it's Jews, you come out, we may not know them but we're all one, we're all together," explained one resident of the heavily Jewish stretch of Ocean Parkway. And while police have still made no arrests in the presumed hate crime, they have high hopes of getting DNA or fingerprints off the myriad bottles and gas containers left at the scene.
"If it's a car burnt on Ocean Parkway or a cross burnt on the lawn of an African American, that part of our dark history is not going to find a way in our future," NY State Senator Eric Adams said yesterday, summing up the feelings of many regrading the incident. Early Friday morning anti-Semitic graffiti was written on a bunch of benches by Ocean Parkway and three cars were torched while a fourth was lit on fire but didn't take. "I’m shocked it happened here, on my block," Ayton Eller, who carried an Israeli flag to the afternoon rally, told the Times. "Can you believe it?"
And the cars weren't the only troubling bit of possible anti-Semitism on Friday, which was also the 79th anniversary of the end of Kristallnacht. On Friday a 51-year-old social worker named Nochum Elek had his nose broken by a group of Hispanic men. Though police are calling that a mugging, not a hate crime, it still has many in the Jewish community on edge. Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, hopes rabbis will sit down with the police soon. He told a crowd of about 50 in Williamsburg yesterday that, "Everyone is proud that our city is the safest city. And we want to be part of that city that is the safest."
Thanks to generous support from local pols, police are offering at least a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. If you know anything please call CrimeStoppers.