On Saturday, Teaneck’s Deputy Mayor, Mark Schwartz, had just finished prayers at a temple in Florida when a white SUV stopped near him, and four men inside began shouting insults.
“F-you Jews!” they said. “Free Palestine!”
It got worse. Schwartz, who is Orthodox and wears a yarmulke, was walking with Councilwoman Karen Orgen, along with her husband and daughter. The men threw water bottles at them, and some other small objects.
“They pointed at Karen and said, ‘We’re going to rape you. And we’re going to rape your daughter,’” Schwartz says.
As Orgen’s husband stepped forward, the men started to get out of the car. But suddenly, the driver of a black Audi placed his car between the attackers and Schwartz’s group, pulled a gun, and pointed it at the four men, according to Schwartz. “They slithered back into their car and drove off, quite loudly, and then the Audi drove after them,” he says.
Call that a happy ending, as no one was hurt. But this incident is part of a surge in vile anti-Semitic attacks that have followed the recent fighting between Israel and Palestinians. It has happened during earlier flare-ups of Mideast violence, but this time, it’s been more common, and more vicious, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
A Jewish man wearing a yarmulke was beaten in Times Square last week by a gang of men, one of whom is now charged with a hate crime. Days earlier, protesters waving Palestinian flags and chanting “Death to Jews” assaulted Jewish diners at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. On Twitter, some of the bigots are using the hashtag “#HitlerWasRight.”
The ADL found that the number of anti-Semitic incidents jumped by 63 percent in the two weeks after the recent conflict erupted, measured against the two previous weeks, a far larger spike that seen during previous spikes of Mideast violence.
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