Welcome to Midwood, Brooklyn -- a neighborhood with a strong Jewish influence and home to one of the nation's largest communities of Holocaust survivors. Now, sadly, Midwood is also becoming known for suffering a recent string of vitriolic, anti-Semitic attacks and acts of vandalism. Most recently, a sign at the Avenue J subway station off East 16th Street was spray painted with the letters "e" and "w" to spell "Avenue Jew."
According to MyFox New York, a subway rider saw the graffiti, photographed it, and contacted Assemblyman Dov Hikind's office.
The subway sign incident occurred less than a week after arsons commemorated Kristallnacht -- which refers to a series of attacks in Nazi Germany and Austria where Jewish homes and businesses were ransacked and torched -- by smashing and burning cars in the same neighborhood while vandals scrawled swastikas, "KKK" and other anti-Jewish slurs on sidewalks, benches and vans.
Kristallnacht, not coincidentally, means the "Night of Broken Glass."
By 5 a.m. the next morning, three cars along Ocean Parkway were already burned.
"The burning of cars and vandalism of benches in Midwood this morning represents a truly hateful act of prejudice," Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said.
Hikind, who lives near the scene of the hate crimes, told VIN News, “This incident is beyond anything of similar Anti-Semitic graffiti I have seen...this is an upgrade to a crime where you have vehicles burned.”
"Education and vigilance are our only weapons in fighting against this blatant hatred," Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat said in a statement. "We must send a message to those who perpetrate these vile acts that we will not tolerate their behavior. These cowards need to know that we will find them wherever they lurk, and when we do, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."
Below is a report describing the Avenue J stop's vandalism:
And while police removed the vandalized subway sign and are investigating the incident, they have not yet apprehended the perpetrators, nor do they seem to have any leads.
Given these were not isolated incidents, and given the fact that anti-Semitism has manifested itself on a near-regular basis by Occupiers across the bridge into Wall Street's financial district, it is clear that hate-crimes against the Jewish people are on the rise -- and no longer hidden in the shadows.