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Israeli Flag Ripped Down from New York Synagogue

The Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a report that an Israeli flag was snatched from outside a popular Staten Island synagogue on Tuesday.

According to police, just before midnight, an unknown male exited a vehicle in front of the Young Israel Synagogue on Forest Hill Road, Willowbrook. The individual then hopped over a small fence before ripping the flag down from a flagpole, police said.

There have been no arrests, and the investigation remains ongoing, police said.

“We live in an environment that’s encouraging aggression right now that leads to such acts of vandalism and hate,” said Mendy Mirocznik, president of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO). “A message has to be out that in America we may be entitled to our opinions and how we feel about things, but it’s not acceptable to be uncivil and hostile towards people.”

Merocznik added that, while members of the Jewish community are being assaulted verbally when they walk down the street, the stealing of a flag takes things to another level of hate and violence.

“This needs to be nipped in the bud,” he said.

Mirocnzik went on to praise members of Staten Island’s law enforcement community for their quick response to the incident and the seriousness with which they take the investigation.

A spokesperson for the synagogue could not be reached by press time.