2 Brooklyn Hasidic Jewish Teens, 16, Chased by Men in Car Shouting ‘Allah Akbar, We Love Hitler’

2 Brooklyn Hasidic Jewish Teens, 16, Chased by Men in Car Shouting ‘Allah Akbar, We Love Hitler’
File photo of a police car. (Diego Parra/Pixabay)
Isabel van Brugen

Two Jewish teens have been targeted in New York’s latest anti-Semitic hate crime incident as they walked home in Brooklyn on May 18.

The two Hasidic boys, who were walking near Borough Park at around 1:30 a.m local time, were left terrified when they were harassed by a group of four men who shouted “Allah Akbar” at them from a car.

The pair ran away in terror, but were followed by the car while one of the men yelled, “Do you know Hitler? We love Hitler!” before they drove off, the Yeshiva World reported.

It comes as another Hasidic man in his thirties came forward on May 19 to say he was also targeted in a similar attack.

He said he was just several blocks away from the site of the first reported assault and at around a similar time, when four men in a vehicle of the same description drove up to him and shouted, “[expletive removed] Jews!” and “Allah Akbar” at him, before they drove away.

Local police were notified of the initial incident when one of the targeted teen’s parents contacted former New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who then accompanied them to the local NYPD precinct to file a report.

The initial incident is being referred to the NYPD’s Bias Unit as the use of a vehicle constituted a physical threat, according to the Yeshiva World. Police have opened an ongoing Hate Crime investigation and will look into the second incident.

In a press release on the incident, Hikind said the anti-Semitic attacks seem to be “totally out of control.”

“To say this is horrifying, or that it’s unacceptable is meaningless in the face of events. There aren’t enough words to continuously express shock, outrage, and discontent with the unfolding situation of anti-Semitism in America, and particularly in New York City,” he said.

The attacks come amid a recent spike in anti-Semitic incidents across New York. In 2019, hate crimes have spiked by 67 percent in the first quarter of the year across the city, with anti-Semitic incidents taking top place, according to the NYPD.

Between January and April this year, there were 145 hate crime incidents reported, up from 87 in the same time period last year. Of the incidents reported this year, 82 were anti-Semitic—an increase of 82 percent.

Last month, one person was killed and three others were wounded after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at a synagogue in California.

The attacker, named John Earnest, burst into the synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, just after it had hosted a Passover celebration.

The incident came just six months after a shooting in Pittsburgh, which killed 11. The shooting is thought to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent U.S. history.

Hikind added more needs to be done to combat “anti-Semitic violence and harassment anywhere and everywhere it manifests.”

“The ‘wake up’ period won’t last forever, and soon enough we just may find ourselves well beyond the point of no return if we do not take immediate and serious action,” he continued.

Hikind continued to question, “Will any leader stand up to the task? All indications are they’re out to lunch.”

Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
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