2007_09_bkhc.jpgThe NYPD's Hate Crime Unit is investigating numerous instances of anti-Semitic vandalism in Brooklyn Heights. Monday evening, swastikas were found painted on two synagogues, three buildings, and two cars, but by yesterday afternoon, over a dozen other markings were discovered (one brownstone also had an SS logo painted on it), as well as flyers with swastikas and slurs on cars' windshields.

Remsen, Columbia, and Joralemon Streets, the Palmetto Playground and Sidney Place were vandalized. The NY Times reports that over 20 detectives are assigned to the case and the NYPD's spokesman Paul Browne said, "The intensity and the number of incidents in a relatively small area on the Jewish holidays all combined to cause us to assign significant resources to the case."

Some rabbis and local politicians believe that Iranian leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presence in NY could have something to do with the incidents: Rabbi Aaron Raskin of Congregation B'nai Avraham, where a swastika was found on the steps, told the Sun, "I think the president of Iran arriving to New York spurred these hatemongers to come out of the closet."

One shocked resident told the Daily News, "This is a neighborhood of dialogue, of mosques, synagogues and churches. That makes it even more sad." Other anti-Semitic acts of vandalism have also recently taken place in Long Island and New Jersey, where a swastika was cut into a field.