Op-Ed: Mezuzahs are Being Burned in Brooklyn
We have a Jewish Mayor in New York City; he is a brilliant, accomplished man by many standards, also a bit weird - depending upon whom you ask. Putting aside personal preferences, he is the Mayor- our Mayor- and has been since 2002.
This past Monday in Brooklyn, once again, the Jewish community was attacked. Let’s go back a few years before we discuss the events of last Monday.
In November of 2011, several vehicles were torched in Brooklyn, a swastika was spray painted on one of the cars, the letters “KKK” and “SS” were spray painted on several benches and “f- the Jews” was written on the sidewalk.
Suspicions mounted that the attack was connected to the Occupy Wall Street protests taking place in lower Manhattan, where signs blaming—who else?—the Jews, for the economic meltdown and criminal behavior of bank executives and employees.
City Councilman David Greenfield’s office offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identity of the culprits and the Anti-Defamation League offered an additional $4,000 reward.
Mayor Bloomberg also had a comment.
“New York City is home to more than 8 million of the most open and tolerant people in the world,” he said. “But even here, there are occasional incidents involving actions that are hateful or vicious or both.”
Several days later police recovered the culprits—a dozen beer bottles.
“There were Coronas everywhere,” said one detective.
Later that week a 40 year old man was arrested for painting swastikas on libraries, a synagogue and a Catholic church—an equal opportunity offender—all in Queens, however. He was charged with criminal mischief.
Mayor Bloomberg operates a television and radio station as well as a financial services corporation. His net worth is estimated to be 27 billion dollars. We are not aware of any reward he may have offered along with Councilman Greenfield and the Anti-Defamation League to apprehend the beer bottles that set ablaze vehicles and terrorized the Orthodox Jewish Community in Brooklyn in November of 2011.
For many of us in America, we cannot believe that there are Jews in Israel who don't want to join the army and leftist Jews living in Israel who don’t believe Israel has the right to exist at all; and these are Jewish people living in Israel?
Well, we have our own perplexing situations.
In January of 2012, swastikas and the words, “Die Jew,” had been painted on a garage and on the stairs of a Jewish school in Brooklyn. Additionally, several elderly residents in Manhattan and in Sheepshead Bay had received threatening phone calls. An arrest was made of a 56 year old Jewish man who lived in the community and was a relative of two of the victims. A business dispute was his excuse. In his mind, this was a justification for terrorizing the elderly and their grandchildren going to school. As expected, anti-Semites celebrated.
New York City is home to approximately 33,000 Holocaust survivors; about 20, 500 of them reside in Brooklyn.
Last Monday, April 8, 2013, as the more than 20, 000 Holocaust survivors who reside in Brooklyn observed Yom Hashoah, their mezuzahs (in Hebrew, mezuzot) were set ablaze in an apartment building located in Williamsburg, where many Orthodox Jews reside.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio called the vandalism a “sickening act of prejudice that strikes at the very core of who we are as a city.”
Brooklyn City Councilman Stephen Levin called the vandalism, “disgusting.”
Mayor Bloomberg owns a radio and television station; we could not find his comments, if any.
Remember when Mayor Rudolph Guiliani expelled Yassar Arafat from Lincoln Center in 1995? Mayor Guliani was the Mayor of New York then, he had investigated the killing of Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish man in a wheelchair who was shot and then thrown off the cruise ship Achille Lauro that had been taken hostage by members of the PLO.
Mayor Guiliani stated to a critical Liberal press, “Maybe we should wake people up to the way this terrorist is being romanticized." He further reminded the press that the PLO had been linked to the murder of numerous American civilians and diplomatic personnel.
We got the feeling that even if the press didn’t care, he did. He was our Mayor, and he cared about our Jewish lives.
Mayor Bloomberg is very vocal about the things he cares about, and the things he cares about are numerous; however, Mezuzahs burning in Brooklyn—not at the top of his list, presumably.