A Serious Approach to Anti-Semitic Vandalism

It was impossible to hear about the despicable and hateful crimes committed this past Shabbos in Brooklyn without recoiling in horror and disgust. When incidents such as these occur, they serve to remind us of a fact we often tend to forget, and reinforce another: No matter how insulated and self-sufficient we manage to make our communities, we are still in galus. And, the very fact that the perpetrator was able to spend as much time as he did committing his vile deeds without being stopped drives home how the safety we generally enjoy is a very open manifestation of Hashem’s chessed.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the NYPD for the hard work they do to keep our communities safe. We specifically wish to commend the personnel of the 66th Precinct. The work they did in swiftly apprehending the perpetrator goes a long way towards allowing Boro Parkers to feel somewhat safer.

It is impossible to understate the importance of the serious approach utilized in dealing with this crime. Although defacing property with hate messages may be considered by some as having a negligible effect — if any — on the victims of such vandalism, this is not the case. The horror and shock felt by those in close proximity to the crimes, as well as by Jews everywhere, is very real.

But there is a much larger issue at hand.

According to the ADL, in 2013, more than two anti-Semitic incidents, on average, were reported daily across the United States. Compared to the previous year, instances of vandalism dropped by almost 30 percent, but the number of anti-Semitic assaults almost doubled.

The simple and sad reality is that anti-Semitism exists. There really are individuals who wish for nothing more than to do a Yid harm. But when our police act swiftly and decisively, and “petty” criminals such as vandals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, it helps discourage others from following suit. If a spray-paint vandal is charged with 57 counts and resources are committed to getting him off the street quickly, would-be assaulters can only imagine what might happen to them. This serious attitude of the NYPD has a direct correlation to keeping us safe from those who would do us harm.

And for that we would like to say thank you.