Daily Israel Report

"Kristallnacht" Strikes Jewish Stores in New Jersey

Highland Park targeted in a series of anti-Semitic attacks on at least five Jewish-owned establishments.
By Chana Ya'ar & Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/1/2011, 4:15 AM

Smashed glass (illustration)
Smashed glass (illustration)
Flash 90

The central New Jersey community of Highland Park was targeted Tuesday night in a series of anti-Semitic attacks on at least five Jewish-owned establishments.

Vandals hurled bricks through the plate glass windows of a kosher restaurant, a kosher pizza shop, two Judaica stores, and a Jewish-owned hardware store.

At least three other Jewish-owned establishments in nearby New Brunswick were also similarly attacked, including the Rutgers Chabad House, the Rutgers Hillel and an Israeli-owned falafel eatery.

The destruction took place on the anniversary of the 1947 United Nations Partition Vote to create the Jewish State in Palestine.

A report published by the Algemeiner Journal quoted "Facebook rumors" relating two separate incidents in which a local individual made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened to launch a new Kristallnacht -- a reference to the 1938 "night of broken glass" pogrom in which thousands of Jewish stores and synagogues were destroyed and that launched the Nazi Holocaust in Germany. 

It is not clear whether the two incidents were related, nor is it clear whether all the attacks were perpetrated by the same vandal or vandals.

The newspaper pointed out that Highland Park has recently elected an Orthodox Jewish man as its mayor.

Local police said in a statement detectives were "actively investigating these incidents and are in contact with and coordinating efforts with other law enforcement agencies that may be able to expedite the investigation."

However, police cautioned that it was "too soon to reach a conclusion" as to the nature of the crimes.

"We would also like to briefly address the fear that these are acts motivated by anti-Semitism or that these are bias crimes," the statement said. "The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office has been notified, but it is too soon to reach a conclusion.

“All of our officers are aware of the sensitivity of this situation and we will make every effort with patrols and surveillance to keep everyone safe. We would like to encourage you to communicate with your congregants and urge them to avoid speculation which could lead to unnecessary anxiety."