President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris condemned recent attacks against the Jewish community on Monday, after several Jews were targeted in cities across the United States and abroad as tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated.
“The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop. I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad — it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor,” Biden tweeted Monday.
Harris added later: “The surge in anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish community in the U.S. and around the world is despicable—it must be called out, condemned, and stopped. As a country, we must stand united against hate of any kind.”
Authorities are investigating attacks on Jews in New York and Los Angeles that occurred during days of violence in Gaza between Israel and Hamas militants that killed hundreds of people, the majority of whom were Palestinians.
Following two anti-Semitic incidents in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood on Saturday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday afternoon that the New York Police Department will beef up its presence in the city’s Jewish communities.
According to an NYPD statement, two teenagers, ages 18 and 17, were approached on Saturday by two men who “demanded that the victims repeat anti-Jewish statements.” When the victims refused, one of the men put the 17-year-old in a “rear chokehold,” according to the police department, adding that one of the attackers chased them down while “brandishing a baseball bat.” According to police, the alleged attackers fled in a blue Toyota Camry.
Three male occupants of a blue Toyota Camry began “yelling anti-Jewish statements” toward four male victims in front of a nearby synagogue at the same hour that evening, according to another NYPD statement.
According to CNN, a man was arrested last week after a 29-year-old Jewish man was punched, kicked, and pepper-sprayed during an incident in New York’s Times Square. According to CNN, the assault involved five to six men who allegedly yelled anti-Semitic statements.
The incident is being investigated by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating an altercation last week near Hollywood in which witnesses claimed that a group of pro-Palestinian men driving by in vehicles targeted Jewish people dining at a restaurant. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
People in the cars began throwing bottles at the group and yelling anti-Semitic slurs, including the words “dirty Jew,” according to a woman who said she was dining at the restaurant.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti condemned the attack and said the city would meet the incident “with a full force of law.”
“Our police department together with our sheriff’s department, our FBI, and other partners is rightly investigating this assault as a hate crime,” he said.
After more than a week of fighting, Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to a ceasefire last week. The Israeli Defense Forces launched an 11-day aerial bombardment of Gaza, while Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children. According to the IDF and Israel’s emergency services, Palestinian militant fire killed at least 12 people in Israel, including two children.
Last week, Biden praised the ceasefire, praising his administration’s “quiet and relentless diplomacy” as well as Egypt’s efforts.