The New York Police Department (NYPD) has reported a disturbing 214% increase in hate crimes against Jewish people in October 2023 compared to the same period last year.
The monthly crime statistics, released November 9, reveal a concerning trend with a total of 101 reported hate crimes, 69 of which were specifically targeting Jews.
In October 2022, there were 45 reported hate crimes, with 22 directed at the Jewish community.
The recent incidents include a series of vandalism acts on Upper East Side apartment buildings, where perpetrators scrawled “Hamas” and antisemitic graffiti.
The police are investigating the case as a hate crime, which occurred on October 9, just two days after Hamas fighters in Israel killed over 1,400 people and captured more than 200.
The surge in antisemitic incidents coincides with the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. In response to the October 7 terrorist attacks, Israel initiated large-scale airstrikes and a ground invasion, refusing calls for a cease-fire. The death toll, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, exceeds 10,000 Palestinians. The White House suggests the actual numbers may be even higher.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that the invasion aims to defeat Hamas, emphasizing that there will be no cease-fire until hostages are returned home.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has also reported a staggering 388% spike in antisemitic incidents in the two weeks following the initial attack on Israel. Within this period, the ADL documented 312 antisemitic incidents, reflecting the growing tension and hostility in the aftermath of the conflict.
“When conflict erupts in Israel, antisemitic incidents soon follow in the U.S. and globally,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL.
In response to the alarming increase in hate crimes, New York lawmakers have introduced a bill to expand the range of offenses prosecutable as hate crimes and close existing loopholes.
State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal expressed concern over the “unprecedented rise in bias-motivated crimes against Jewish, Muslim, Asian American, and LGBTQ people.”
Notably, there were eight reported hate crimes against Muslims, up from zero in October 2022, and seven incidents motivated by sexual orientation, compared to three in the same period last year.
While hate crimes have seen an overall decrease of almost 10% for the year so far, lawmakers say the recent surge underscores the need for increased awareness, legislation and community efforts to combat and prevent such incidents.