2019年12月31日 星期二

N.Y. Today: Anti-Semitic Attacks in N.Y.

What you need to know for Tuesday.

It’s Tuesday. We’re off tomorrow for New Year’s Day, but we’ll be back on Thursday.

Weather: Today will start out cloudy and become increasingly clear, with a high in the upper 40s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect today. Suspended tomorrow for New Year’s Day.


Karsten Moran for The New York Times

New York City was already on edge after a series of anti-Semitic attacks last week.

Then on Saturday night, five Jewish people were stabbed in a bloody rampage at a rabbi’s house in the suburban community of Monsey, N.Y.


Mayor de Blasio has called the recent rise in anti-Semitic violence a “crisis.” On Sunday, he announced more police patrols in some Jewish neighborhoods, although the motive for the stabbing in Monsey remained unclear.

That appeared to change yesterday, when federal prosecutors charged the suspect, Grafton Thomas, with hate crimes.

What we know about the Monsey attack

In a criminal complaint, Mr. Thomas is accused of bursting into the home in Monsey, which has a large community of ultra-Orthodox Jews, and stabbing five people. There were no fatalities.


In the last month, Mr. Thomas had searched online four times for the phrase “why did Hitler hate the Jews,” according to the complaint. It said he had also sought information on temples and recent anti-Semitic incidents in New York City, and had kept journals expressing anti-Semitic views — including references to Hitler and Nazis, as well as drawings of a Star of David and a swastika.

The police said that after the stabbings, Mr. Thomas drove to Manhattan, where he was pulled over and arrested by the authorities.

Mr. Thomas’s family and one of his lawyers told reporters that he had no history of anti-Semitism, but that he did suffer from mental illness, including schizophrenia. They said he claimed to hear voices that directed him to Monsey to retrieve or destroy a piece of property.

Mr. Thomas, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., was ordered detained on the federal charges pending further proceedings. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

The reaction

New York’s Jewish community was already rattled by the shooting early this month at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J. The series of gunfights linked to that attack left six people dead, including two Hasidic Jews.

Then last week, New York City police officials, citing at least eight anti-Semitic incidents since Dec. 13, began stepping up patrols in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, all Brooklyn neighborhoods with large numbers of Jewish residents.

Saturday’s attack happened in Rockland County, just northwest of the city.

As New York City’s ultra-Orthodox population has grown, many Hasidic families have relocated in recent years to Rockland, which is now believed to have one of the largest populations of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside of Israel.

After the Monsey attack, city officials said they would add more security cameras and light towers in ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn. Mr. de Blasio said he has directed city schools to undertake an “intensified curriculum” focused on anti-Semitism, to teach young people that attacks motivated by hate or ignorance breed more violence.

And yesterday, New York City’s police commissioner, Dermot Shea, made his own pledge for safety.

“We will keep the Jewish community safe,” he said in an interview on “CBS This Morning,” “and we have a zero tolerance when it comes to hate crimes in New York City.”


Explore news from New York and around the region

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Governor Cuomo vetoed legislation preventing contaminants in Jamaica Bay. [QNS]

An Uber driver from the Bronx is running for Congress. [Daily News]

Mayor de Blasio called upon President Trump for financial assistance to address the city’s homeless problem. [New York Post]

Coming up today

See a screening of “Honey Boy” at Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen in Brooklyn. 9:45 p.m. [$7]

Get your groove on at 2020 With Friends — Last Dance, which includes a D.J. set and food at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. [Free]

Revel in live entertainment and midnight fireworks at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. 10:30 p.m. [Free]

— Melissa Guerrero and Emmett Lindner

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: For New York sports fans, it was a decade to forget

New York City had a banner decade in many areas — real estate development, tourism, food — but not with its pro sports teams.

Today, the last day of the 2010s, seems an appropriate time to commiserate over the past 10 years as a New York sports fan.

My colleague Dan Barry called it a lost decade as a New York rooter, “a time of anguish and exasperation.”

Sure, there were a few bright points, like when the Knicks guard Jeremy Lin inspired “Linsanity” in 2012 and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom won back-to-back Cy Young Awards.

But largely, being a sports fan in the 2010s was an exercise in masochism.

While junior cities routinely won titles in various sports, the New York area’s 12 pro teams brought home exactly one championship: a Super Bowl in 2012 for the Giants.

Even Yankees fans, who love reminding everyone about their team’s unparalleled 27 World Series rings, need no reminder that the Yanks have not won a championship since 2009.

Why the dry decade? Our teams tend to spend lavishly on players, so perhaps the blame lies with spoiled team owners, as well as “questionable coaching and front-office mismanagement,” Mr. Barry wrote.

It’s Tuesday — goodbye, 2019.

Metropolitan Diary: Icy windshields

Dear Diary:

I was chipping ice off my windshield on Riverside Drive at 150th Street when the owner of the sedan parked in front of my car appeared.

He was a big fellow in a long, black winter coat. He waved at me in what I interpreted as cold-morning camaraderie.

“This car’s lived its whole life in California,” I said, feigning dismay. “It’s our first snowstorm.”

“But you’re prepared with the scraper,” he said. “I’ve got three, but never with me when I need them.”

“Would you like to borrow mine?”

“Yes, great.”

I finished clearing my windshield, and then I put the scraper into his gloved hands. I got into my car, shivering and flicking bits of snow from my fingers while I waited impatiently for the engine to heat up.

I looked out at the white-topped cars, slushy streets and bright frozen air over the river. The man circled his car, brushing and scraping without hurry.

When he appeared to be almost done, I got out of my car.

He handed me the scraper.

“Thanks,” he said. “Welcome to New York.”

— Jack Schiff

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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