Two Jewish men in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn were "viciously" attacked within minutes of each other — and are part of a much larger spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the New York City borough.
The New York Post reported Thursday that the visibly Jewish men, 22-years-old and a 51-years-old, were both attacked in the heavily Jewish neighborhood early Wednesday morning.
“I was talking on the phone with my father in Australia on President Street — really in the heart of Crown Heights — when suddenly, from behind me out of nowhere, I just got punched in the face really, really hard," Mendel, the 22-year-old who asked to only be identified by his first name, told the Post.
“They didn’t say anything at all,” Mendel added. “Next thing I know, I was on the floor — my yarmulke and glasses in the gutter somewhere.”
The older man was also dressed in religious garb and appeared "quite shaken up" when he was taken to the police station prior to being hospitalized for his injuries, the younger man recalled.
Mendel added that the older Hasidic man was also "beaten up far worse than I was.”
Rabbi Yacov Behrman of the Jewish Future Alliance in Crown Heights told the Algemeiner news site after the most recent attacks that "some 10 people were violently attacked in the last 60 days alone."
“We ask what is going wrong in Crown Heights, when innocent Jews are being beaten in the streets in 2019?" the rabbi said. "Is there an atmosphere that is encouraging violence or antisemitism? And, an equally important question, where is the public outrage? Indeed, why isn’t this front page headlines?”
On January 20, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that two Jewish women were attacked in Crown Heights within a day of each other.
In Crown Heights and other Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations, like Midwood and Williamsburg, anti-Semitic attacks and acts of vandalism have been steadily on the rise over the past year. In one instance from