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Was anti-Semitism behind the Jersey City attack?

Jersey City Credit: MusikAnimal/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 4.0

It was described as a battle scene involving hundreds of shots being fired in a two-hour gun-battle between police and two suspects barricaded inside a Kosher market in Jersey City.

Six people were killed including, the alleged suspects, a police officer and three people inside the Kosher store that serves a large Jewish population in Jersey City.

The confrontation started at a nearby cemetery, when a police officer went to the scene as part of an investigation of a murder a few days earlier. The two suspects shot the officer, killing him, and then fled the scene in a U-haul van and drove to the KC Kosher Supermarket and open fired on the Jewish store.

According to reports, two police officers near the market engaged the two individuals who then ran inside the store, set up barricades and started firing back.

After a two-hour stand-off, the police stormed the market with an armored vehicle and killed the two suspects. Inside they also found the bodies of three Jewish people, who had apparently been killed by the two. They also discovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition indicating the duo could have continued the battle for hours.

The New York Times alleges that a source said investigators suspect the Kosher market was targeted because of the anti-Semitic comments that may have been posted by one of the suspects on social media a few days earlier. Police are uncertain if the suspect actually wrote the comment himself.

Commenting on the attack, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described it as a “premeditated violent antisemitic hate crime” adding:

“There’s a crisis of antisemitism gripping the nation … Now we have seen this extraordinarily extreme form of violence reach the doorstep of New York City and we have to take that as a warning sign. We have to understand that people are now living in constant fear. We’ve entered a new reality.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Jerusalem Post

On the same day (December 10, 2019) in Paris, a young Jewish man, 31, was attacked and beaten unconscious while on a train. According to the Jerusalem Post, two men attacked the man, referred to as Yogev B., after they overheard him speaking in Hebrew on his cell phone. He was beaten and kicked by the suspects breaking his nose, leaving him bloodied and requiring stitches.

Yogev, an exchange student, was leaving a message for his father.

In response to this attack, French Jewish politician, Meir Habib, posted on Facebook:

“Hatred of Israel and anti-Semitic violence on a daily basis – an Israeli student absorbed blows in the middle of a crowded subway train simply because he speaks Hebrew.

Meir Habib, Facebook

A year earlier (October 27, 2018), a gunman stormed the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during a morning service killing 11 people and wounding seven.

The murderer, Robert Gregory Bowers, then 46, had posted anti-Semitic comments on social media prior to the attack.

I don’t believe that the growing hatred of Jews and persecution of Christians around the world is a coincidence. It could be a sign of the times.


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