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Jewish Deli in NYC Defaced with Swastika and Antisemitic Messages

A New York City deli was vandalized with a swastika in an antisemitic attack that took place after the eatery posted pro-Israel content on their social media.

The owner of the 2nd Avenue Deli – Jeremy Lebewohl – told The Post that a tenant of the Upper East Side building alerted him that the storefront had been defaced with a hate symbol.

“This morning, we saw it,” Lebewohl said outside the restaurant. “It’s just horrible. It makes me sad.

“It’s sad that people just feel the need to say they hate Jews in 2023. That people can just be so open about it. That Jew hatred is out therein now people just feel more empowered to say it.”

This is the first time Lebewohl has a symbol of hate plastered on his building, but he said he has “always been prepared for that to happen.”

Lebewohl, who owns the building, was concerned about hanging Israeli and American flags in his window because he feared people would “come throw rocks in my storefront.”

He was dismayed about the prospect of vandalize. “That’s a sad thing to say that if I would hang two flags in my window in New York City that someone would feel the need to vandalize my property,” he said.

The deli lamented the hateful damage in a post on its Instagram page.

“Thank you for reminding us that we are on the right side of history,” read a message alongside a photograph of the Nazi symbol with the words “home land security” and “Israel pride.”

“This isn’t just a fight about land. This isn’t just a fight about Israel. This isn’t just a fight with all the Jews of the world. This is a fight of good vs evil.”

The kosher restaurant — which was certified James Beard American Classic in 1998 — featured pro-Israel content on its social media pages, including an image of the country’s flag, since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel.

“We stand with Israel. We stand against the clear evil that has once again shown itself today,” the company wrote on the day of the attacks.

But Lebewohl said he has been “careful not to be provocative” in order to protect the store.

Since the violence broke out, the company has foregone its usual content of highlighting its foods and drinks to post updates on the war and violence taking place, especially underscoring the deaths of children.

“I would never take pleasure, God forbid, in the deaths of Palestinian civilians,” Lebewohl said. “But there’s a big difference between saying that all civilians should be protected when you have a group of people that are purposely killing, mutilating, slaughtering civilians.

“Everybody should be able to say black and white, teenage girls being raped, babies being killed in front of their parents, no context is required, every person should be able to say very clearly that is horrible.”

Jeffrey Haberman, 74, who occasionally eats at the deli, said the graffiti was “reprehensible” and “despicable.”

Haberman said within the last month, he knows of three synagogues that were vandalized, including the one he attends, Or Zarua. He said he isn’t worried of his own safety, but the acts show how much influence the cause of Hamas has outside its borders.

“This isn’t by accident. Hamas has enough of a reach. People are sending very clear messages that they don’t want Jews here. But if you vandalize, it will not make a difference. We are not leaving.”

The 2nd Avenue Deli was originally founded in 1954 as an East Village luncheonette on East 10th Street by Lebewohl’s uncle Abe Lebewohl.

The NYPD said that the act of hate was under investigation.

Nearly 3,000 people have died in the Gaza Strip, while almost 10,000 have been injured, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Nearly two-thirds who have died have been children.

Another 1,200 are believed to be buried under rubble.

Source: https://nypost.com/2023/10/17/nyc-deli-vandalized-with-swastika-after-pro-israel-posts/