I say this is a suspected hate crime only because the NYPD hasn’t officially made a determination yet, but based on everything victim Abraham Gopin has said about the attack, that’s certainly what it sounds like:
The man was wearing a yarmulke when a black man with dreadlocks allegedly punched him, a spokesperson for the New York Police Department told ABC News.
“My father-in-law has a big beard. My father-in-law is very easily identifiable as a Hasidic Jew. My father-in-law speaks English with a very heavy Israeli accent,” said the victim’s son-in-law, Benny Friedman…
The victim had his two teeth knocked out as a result and suffered a laceration to the forehead but was in stable condition when he was transported to nearby Maimonides Medical Center, the NYPD spokesman said. Friedman also said that his father-in-law’s nose was broken in two places and his leg was also injured.
The attacker not only punched Gopin multiple times, but also hit him with a heavy paving stone. Gopin says during the attack the man kept calling him a Jew:
“It was a hate… he said Jew, Jew. He said something in that direction,” he said. “He was for certain looking to kill. No doubt about it.”…
According to the NYPD, there have been 145 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints in the city so far this year – up from 88 complaints in the same time last year.
Police released this video of the suspect:
Mayor de Blasio condemned the attack on Twitter. But just a couple months ago de Blasio said anti-Semitism was a “right-wing movement.” I guess that’s possible but I wouldn’t say it’s very likely the black suspect with dreadlocks is a right-winger?
As the number of anti-Semitic attacks has increased in New York the identities of the attackers have presented a tricky problem for progressives like de Blasio. Last year the NY Times ran a piece pointing out that the attackers don’t “conform to an easy narrative.” From the Times:
If anti-Semitism bypasses consideration as a serious problem in New York, it is to some extent because it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy. During the past 22 months, not one person caught or identified as the aggressor in an anti-Semitic hate crime has been associated with a far right-wing group, Mark Molinari, commanding officer of the police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, told me.
“I almost wish it was sometimes more clear cut,’’ he said. “It’s every identity targeting every identity.”
There’s obviously a serious problem. Mr. Gopin could easily have been killed in this attack. But because this problem can’t be blamed on the right, it doesn’t seem to be getting more than local attention. Here’s CBS New York’s report on the attack: