USA: Man shouts “Kanye 2024!” Before assaulting a Jewish passerby in New York

New York police have reported an alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the city in recent days.

Police in New York said Saturday they are investigating a suspected anti-Semitic attack last week by a man who assaulted a 63-year-old walker after he hurled anti-Semitic remarks and referenced Kanye West while shouting “Kanye 2024!”. The Washington Post reported that the incident happened Wednesday night while the victim was walking in Central Park. The assailant, a man in his 40s, hit him from behind and knocked him to the ground before fleeing on a bicycle. The victim, who has not been identified, suffered a broken hand and tooth. She was hospitalized in stable condition, according to the New York Police Department.

Police said the attacker made “numerous” anti-Semitic comments, including a reference to Kanye West, who has penned several anti-Jewish tirades, and a eulogy of Adolf Hitler in recent weeks. She said she was looking for the alleged assailant, who was last seen around Washington Square Park when the police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force tweeted a still from CCTV footage of the suspect.

Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFPKanye West

Wednesday’s attack came as police in New York reported an alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the city in recent days, matching the trend across the country. 45 anti-Semitic hate crimes were recorded in the metropolis in November, an increase of 125% compared to the same period last year.

According to an April report by the Anti-Defamation League, 2021 has seen the highest levels of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the United States since the organization began documenting the phenomenon in the 1970s. Christopher Wray recently said the American Jewish community is “being hit from all sides” and “desperately” needs additional support from the agency amid a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. He pointed out that about 63% of religious hate crimes were motivated by anti-Semitism, “while American Jews make up only about 2.4% of the nation’s population.”

On Monday, the White House announced the creation of an interagency committee aimed at combating antisemitism, responding to calls from US lawmakers and major American Jewish organizations that have called for a “whole of government approach” to the escalation of the phenomenon.

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