Hate was in full force when a pack of teens assaulted a 16-year-old Jewish teen while allegedly screaming, “Kill the Jew!”
David Paltielov is still hospitalized with bruises, lacerations and contusions to the head after being stomped on and beaten by dozens of boys in Queens, N.Y. Two teens, ages 17 and 18 were arrested on Thursday in relation to the beating, but the New York City Police Department didn’t charge them with a hate crime. Both were charged with first-degree felony gang assault and second-degree felony assault.
The incident happened outside the Masbia Soup Kitchen in Queens on Nov. 29. One of the volunteers, Waleska Mendez, who witnessed the attack, saw the group coming down the street looking for trouble.
“It just seemed to me that they came to the neighborhood to look for problems and they found someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Mendez told PIX11.
With a rash of anti-Semitic attacks and killings in recent months, it would appear to accurately fit the description of a hate crime. Ironically, only a day earlier the City of New York had announces that they would be implementing an Office of Hate Crimes Prevention.
The same week Paltielov was attacked, Elizabeth Midlarsky, a Jewish professor who teaches and researches the Holocaust at Columbia Teachers College in Manhattan, faced anti-Semitism as well.
Midlarsky walked into the entryway of her New York City office on Nov. 28 to find it vandalized with two large swastikas on the wall written in spray paint, along with the anti-Semitic slur — “Yid.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that the number of anti-Semitic crimes in the U.S. rose 57 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, before President Trump took office.
This is the greatest single-year increase recorded by the ADL, and the second-highest number recorded since the organization began compiling data.
In October, 11 people were gunned down at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by a white male domestic terrorist. Just hours before the shootings, he used the social network Gab.com to post malicious anti-Semitic messages and conspiracy theories.
Following Paltielov’s attack, community members are taking caution. Yaniv Meirov, CEO of CHAZAQ, a Jewish youth leadership organization, warned people who live in area not to walk alone at night following the attack.
“While you live in America, in New York, in your community and you want to feel safe and sound, you have to think twice,” Meirov said.
The NYPD said that the investigation is ongoing.