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New York Jewish Community Distraught as Memorial Banner Vandalized with Antisemitic Slurs

A banner appealing for the safe return of the over 230 individuals kidnapped by Hamas was found vandalized Thursday morning in what members of the Island’s Jewish community are calling an outrageous and disturbing act of antisemitism.

The banner, which was hung Wednesday outside of the Chabad of Staten Island in the vicinity of Harold Street and Bradley Avenue in Meiers Corner, was marred by someone who crossed out the names of the victims and wrote “F— Jews.”

Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO) President Mendy Mirocznik told the Advance/SILive.com: “It’s a terrible thing when the symbolism of innocent people, some of which are Americans, is shown such disrespect. I’m surprised, because I assumed people in Staten Island would understand the situation in the Middle East is a sensitive one and that this is a borough that understands the pain of 9/11 and the experience of when terror rears its ugly head.”

“The desecration of this banner and what it stands for is not just an attack on the Jewish community, it is an attack on our shared human values. The defacement of a symbol of unity and compassion with such vile, antisemitic rhetoric is a stain on our community. It goes against everything Staten Island stands for,” Scott Maurer, COJO’s CEO, said in a statement.

“We remain firmly united in our condemnation of this act and in our unwavering support for the families of the victims. Let me be clear: There is no room for hatred and bigotry in our community. We will not be intimidated or deterred by such cowardly acts. We will continue to rise together, stronger and more determined, in our fight against antisemitism and all forms of hatred,” Maurer added.

Mirocznick went on to say: “We at COJO have full faith in the NYPD and the district attorney that they will do their utmost to apprehend and bring to justice all those involved in this antisemitic act of hate. The time now is to stress the message that hate has no home in Staten Island and we encourage all people of all faith traditions and backgrounds to condemn this hateful act as being wrong.”

“Positive change will only become a reality when we as a collective society truly accept that hate against any group is offensive to us all. We must personally feel offended and angry whenever hate and antisemitism occurs. Now is not the time to remain silent, now is the time for action, the time for decent people to open their mouths and raise their voice in solidarity with the Jewish community and openly say, we reject antisemitism.”

Source: https://www.silive.com/crime-safety/2023/11/banner-bearing-images-of-missing-israelis-americans-vandalized-near-staten-island-synagogue.html