At least five people were stabbed during a Chanukah celebration at a rabbi's home in upstate New York on Saturday night. All of the stabbing victims, who were reported to be Orthodox Jews, were transferred to a nearby hospital.
The alleged assailant used a machete during the attack and fled the scene, but has since been apprehended.
According to CBS 2 New York, at around 10 p.m. a man entered Rabbi Rottenburg's shul in Monsey, New York, located about 45 minutes north of Manhattan, and stabbed several people. The attacker covered his face with a scarf and chased several victims out of the home while wielding a machete before escaping in a Nissan Sentra. Within two hours, Ramapo police announced they had arrested the suspect.
The attacker is a 37-year-old male from Greenwood Lake, New York, and faces five attempted murder charges and one count of burglary.
Monsey Chanukah attack: suspect is Grafton Thomas of Greenwood Lake NY. Charged with 5 counts attempted murder, 1 c… https://t.co/YQuk1O00ok— Tony Aiello (@Tony Aiello) 1577633376.0
This is the second anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, a town with about 18,000 residents, in under a month, according to Fox News. In November, a 30-year-old man was beaten and stabbed on his way to morning prayers.
An 18% increase in anti-Semitic hate crime reports in New York
The stabbing is also part of a pattern of rising anti-Semitic activity in the New York area. There have been at least nine hate crimes targeting Jews in Brooklyn in recent weeks, prompting the New York Police Department to increase its presence in Jewish neighborhoods.
🚨RECOGNIZE HIM? @NYPDHateCrimes wants to talk to him about an ASSAULT that occurred on 12/25 at 1:05 am, in the are… https://t.co/C6g6i1tSgC— NYPD NEWS (@NYPD NEWS) 1577536134.0
The New York Times reports that there has been an 18% rise in anti-Semitic hate crime complaints this year, according to NYPD data. As of last Sunday, the city's police department received 214 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints, 32 more than during the same period last year.
Jewish leaders condemn attack
Jewish leaders swiftly condemned the attack in upstate New York, with several noting how the treatment of anti-Semitism varies depending on the ethnic and religious identities of the attackers.
Reached by TheBlaze on Sunday, Daily Wire Editor-at-Large Josh Hammer said, "Jew-hatred is the world's oldest bigotry. It is also one of the last politically acceptable forms of bigotry in America today — especially when the attackers are conveniently non-white and those attacked are conveniently Orthodox."
"Those who would like to help all Jews — period — amidst this horrific onslaught are, of course, more than welcome," Hammer added. "But if you are the kind of person who politicizes Jew-hatred based on the identity of the culprit and the religiosity of the attacked, then please kindly shut up and retreat to the sewer whence you came."
In a statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition argued that political leaders in New York need to do more to combat anti-Semitism.
"The political leadership in New York isn't doing nearly enough to protect its Jewish citizens," the RJC wrote on Twitter. "This has become a daily occurrence in NY. These attacks might not be a convenient talking point for those on the left, but they still need to speak out."
The New York Police Department said it is investigating Saturday night's hate crime as an act of domestic terrorism.