By Carol Tannenhauser
“My mom says, ‘Come back to Israel, there’s too much noise and anti-semitism over there,'” said Meir, a manager of Miriam Israeli restaurant on Amsterdam and W. 74th Street, on a telephone call Thursday morning. His voice was heavy. He had just come to work to find Miriam’s outdoor shed defaced with ugly anti-semitic epithets. Tipster and taker of the above photograph, Samantha, wrote that she informed the police around 9 a.m., but at 10 a.m., NYPD told WSR they had no record of the incident.
Meir meanwhile was going outside to take care of the graffiti. Miriam has been open for about three weeks, and “It’s going really well,” he said. “I’m not too concerned. It’s annoying.”
We’ll update when we learn more.
Update – 6 p.m. Thursday: NYPD now had some details about the incident to share. At approximately 8 a.m., they responded to a call, possibly from Council Member Gale Brewer, who had learned of the graffiti early and called Captain Neil Zuber of the 20th Precinct. The police arrived at 300 Amsterdam Avenue (74th Street), and found the anti-semitic graffiti on an outdoor dining shed belonging to an Israeli restaurant, an NYPD spokesperson told WSR in a phone conversation. They spoke to the owner, who revealed that he had also “received a google review that morning, indicating bias.” No arrests were made, and the NYPD spokesperson was unsure about the presence of cameras. “The event is being investigated as a possible hate crime.”
The fact this happened in front of an Israeli restaurant proves that there’s not much of a difference between being anti-Israel and being anti-Semitic (despite the anti-Israel crowd claiming there is).
I think you confuse “anti-Israel” with “critical of Israeli government policies.” They are not the same thing. One can be critical – even highly so – of Israeli government policy without being “anti-Israel.”
Of course, this was likely just stupid, senseless, mean-spirited graffiti done by a person or people who probably know nothing about Israel or its politics.
“…proves that there’s not much of a difference between being anti-Israel and being anti-Semitic…”
For most anti-Semites, probably very true.
But as a progressive Jew, not so much. I don’t consider myself “anti-Israel” (though some people probably would consider me that), but I am highly critical of Israel as a state and its policies and actions. Like the USA, I unequivocally support the country’s right to exist. There’s no question. But like the USA (and like many countries), Israel needs to do better in many areas, and is not above strong criticism.
The knucklehead who defaced this restaurant is likely both anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, and you’re right, it’s probably related in that knucklehead’s mind.
Both is wrong to assume that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.
First, the slurs were written on an Israeli restaurant, not the government of Israel — and so interpreting this as having anything to do with the government of Israel is a huge leap.
Second, even if we pretended that this Israeli restaurant were run by the Israeli government (it’s not), it wouldn’t follow that one person writing anti-Semitic things means that all opposition to Israel and to every Israeli policy is therefore anti-Semitic.
Look, there are some very legitimate counter-arguments to criticism of Israel. “Some loser wrote F Jews on an Israeli restaurant” just isn’t one of them.
Bob, what, exactly are you criticizing in Israel? Have you been there? Did you study the history of the conflict? Do you know about the Ottoman Empire, Jordan, Trans-Jordan, the 6 Day War, Intifada 1 and 2? I’d like to know what you actually know and why you are defending such horrific treatment of anyone and trying to justify it? It doesn’t make any sense, unless you bring some facts to the table. And what are your counter-arguments to the existence of Israel, the only Democracy amongst its neighbors where people of all pursuasions are free to be who they are? Exactly what are your counter-arguments? Hope to hear them soon, and have informed discussion with you.
Any cc footage from the area?
I am guessing there should be c/c cameras directly across 74th Street, on the Apple Bank Building. I wonder if the NYPD has checked those yet.
There is a strong correlation between antisemitism and prosperity. When things are good, and people feel prosperous, there tends to be much less antisemitism. People may always hate Jews, but that hate becomes much more apparent when times are not perceived as good, and the future appears bleak.
The cure for antisemitism (and most forms of racism) is not attempting to educate the ignorant but rather creating a prosperous socio-economic environment.
1. Why wouldn’t the cure be both education and prosperity? Wouldn’t diffusing prejudice take both getting people to see each others’ humanity and worthiness *as well* as reducing economic resentment? A lot of economic resentment is the result of a pernicious misunderstanding of economic reality. Scapegoating is a massive problem and putting the onus on Jewish people is just replicating medieval antisemitic nonsense.
2. Did you just attempt to justify antisemitism? If people are poor enough it’s ok? I mean, there isn’t exactly a shortage of rich antisemites, so it’s clearly not just a matter of economics.
1. Education, while it can work, often doesn’t. When it does, it is slow and generally 1 to 1. An excellent example of this is found in “Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist.” I strongly recommend this book to anyone. It’s amazing. But, the point is large-scale education to prevent antisemitism has never worked. One only needs to look at more recent programs designed by the ADL, CJP, UJA etc to see this.
2. In no way did my statement justify antisemitism. This is a lazy, mean-spirited statement with no logical basis other than to be used as a tool to inflame. But I guess this will fall on defensive deaf ears, much like how large-scale antisemitism efforts do. Thank you for helping to prove my point.
3. There is a considerable amount of academic literature supporting my thesis. Some originating in the 1930’s explaining the changes post WWI that led to the Nazi rise. This is an area of work I am quite familiar with. I recommend google if you’re truly interested.
If I understand this, You have basically now explained away the Holocaust because the sanctions against Germany were so severe it was to be expected the subsequent rise in Jew Hatred and systemic extinction of the Jewish people. It wasn’t the Nazis deep rooted hatred of Jews, but their economic circumstances. Wow.
Is that also why so many young Asian women are being brutally attacked and murdered?
Sorry – antisemitism is the oldest sentiment known to man – and frankly because the Jewish people have still managed to prosper despite this, is a testament to our culture, faith, and perseverance. Ignorance and victimhood is very chic these days – blaming a jews for ones economic circumstances is called antisemitism.
You clearly misunderstood my point, but then again, you also proved it.
I was chatting with an employee at the Performing Arts public library this week and mentioned that we hadn’t had enough heat lately, and he started talking about “Jewish landlords.” (Our landlord is Italian, and I hadn’t said anything about him.)
While I was on the phone with a latino friend, I heard her nine-year-old daughter say, in the most disgusted voice, “Jew drivers.” (Not even “Jewish” – “Jew.”) She didn’t come up with that herself – that’s the causal anti-semitism of her father.
Are we seeing a pattern yet?
And did you say anything about the horrible Anti-Semitic comment of your friend or did you just let it slide? Letting it slide is letting it stand.
Agreed. Some racism is unconscious where people don’t know better. Point it out and if it happens again and again, change friends.
Sorry for what happened to this restaurant. For what its worth, I’m going to give the new place a try.
“NYPD told WSR they had no record of the incident. “This is not the first time police have denied receiving a report of a problem. This is an ongoing issue going back decades. It is just like police refusing to take a report of a crime. NYC police are required to take the report regardless where it took place in the city. It is illegal to tell a victim that they have to go and make a report in the precinct where the crime occurred.
Come on. What do you expect from the 20th precinct? They all drove in from Long Island they’re exhausted.
That odd because I walked by there earlier today and saw at least one car and 3 policeman at the scene.
“being investigated as a possible hate crime”….POSSIBLE? Someone writes F*ck Jews in front of an Israeli restaurant and it’s maybe possibly being considered a hate crime? This city is unhinged. Sick to my stomach over this and wish I were able to move away from this city. The crime and antisemitism is out of control, the police officers hands are tied, bail reform screwed us, criminals run free with no fear of consequences. I’m scared, and sad and fed up. Our concerns fall on the deaf ears of our politicians.
Agree with everything you said, however for the first time in my lifetime, us Jews are not the most targeted group for physical violence: Asians are, usually women. I am so angry and furious how this country is all but ignoring the constant murdering of Asian people for the last two years.
There is not a constant murdering of Asian people. I did not know that Jews had ever been the group most at risk for physical assault. But I do know Jews are the most attacked in religious based hate crimes.
As for what is happening to Asian people, who is ignoring it? I sadly hear about it way top often in the news – another Asian person assaulted.
I think things have been bad since Trump was elected, and it has accelerated since COVID
Sadford writes,”Jews are not the most targeted group for physical violence: Asians are…” Not so. Jews are approximately 2% of the U.S. population, yet the FBI reports that the majority of hate crimes in the U.S. are directed again Jews. There are close to 3 times as many Asians as Jews in the U.S., so your comment cannot be correct. We need fewer hate crimes against ALL religions and ethnicities.
Pales in comparison to what Palestinians have had to put up with over the past 70 plus years.
DADA, You write “Pales in comparison to what Palestinians have had to put up with over the past 70 plus years.” I note that “70 plus years” ago, the new nation of Israel was attacked by the armies of 5 Arab States, who vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. I do not condone what some Israeli nationalist are doing to their Arab neighbors and are disturbed that the Israeli government does little to stop this. But the Arab Palestinians have missed the boat on every proposal for a 2-State solution (which I still hope for). This is a complex issue with faults on both sides. Simply attacking only Jews and Israel does not help in trying to reach an equitable solution.
If you want to understand who is really responsible for Palestinian suffering,just start with the PLO, and Hamas. Their doctrine of the destruction of Israel is their battle cry.Withholding funds from their people causing severe deprivation is to ferment the hate.
When they accept Israel, the suffering will end, But Hamas and the PLO never will.
How long has Hamas existed?
It came into being in Lebanon in the 1980s in response to the Israeli invasion.
And you haven’t managed to explain why the Palestinians in the occupied west bank aren’t afforded basic rights.
Does it pale next to what Jews have been subjected to for thousands of years? Israel may not be the good guys in the world but that has essentially zero to do with the existence of Jew-hatred.
Almost everything pales in comparison to something else.
This nonsense should not be tolerated also even if it was just random graffiti it should not be tolerated.
Your comment comparing a NYC anti-Semitic crime to the Palestinian issues nails why people who understand anti-Semitism know that Israel bashing is mostly anti-Semitic. (And – One needs a much greater knowledge of the complexities over there before spouting.) (I’m a past liberal Dem, now more moderate bkz of this type of anti-Semitism.)
“Your comment comparing a NYC anti-Semitic crime to the Palestinian issues nails why people who understand anti-Semitism know that Israel bashing is mostly anti-Semitic.”
How hard is it to understand that the Palestinians in the west bank aren’t afford basic rights?
How hard is it to understand that the the lands that make up Israel today were not empty in 1947-48?
“complexities” is an excuse for denying people basic rights.
Strongly disagree, but hey, we’re all entitled to our opinions, right?
Miriam’s Park Slope restaurant was also just burglarized. Probably no connection but still pretty awful for them to be dealing with all this.
A “possible hate crime?” Seriously? How much more hateeful could it possibly be?
Those were the words of the NYPD.
A jerk writing idiocy on a restaurant is not a pogram. It’s a jerk acting out, perhaps enjoying the reaction he/she knows it will engender. This Jew feels perfectly safe living on the UWS. Such minor incidents might well diminish in number if they’re ignored. I learned from a museum guard at the Jewish Museum in Berlin that they find graffiti early most mornings and paint it over before visitors arrive. No one is hurt; a little paint is wasted; the public is not frightened.
Head in sand.
Yep let’s just ignore it that usually solves most problems!
Pogrom. Would you feel the same laid back way (“a jerk”), if it were F blacks? No, you would, rightly so, be sickened and worried about a dangerous racist roaming our streets. There were many German Jews who mocked “the little screaming man with the funny moustache, he won’t get anywhere here politically”.
too much censorship on the comments.
Yup. The censorship policy here is completely inconsistent. Nonsensical gibberish gets through and thoughtful posts within the word limit (a word limit that is enforced very inconsistently) gets censored. When in doubt, publish it unless someone is truly hateful.
WSR said they would be providing a more detailed explanation of their policies. They have done some really great reporting lately. This explanation would also be appreciated.
God knows this is a perennial issue throughout history but there are clever ways to discourage it – not that I can think what they are at the moment – but I know that people can be very creative at attempting to combat this hideous cancer!! I’ve heard that “sunlight” is one of the most effective! In other words, be open about this! Let people know it’s going on! Best of luck! Please don’t get discouraged!! Hang in there – We need you to persist and prevail!!! Thank you! And God bless!!
WSR, its our problem it happened here not Israel…
Like any other hate crime against any minority, this anti-semitic graffiti is alarming and should not be taken lightly or casually. Am surprised that there is no unequivocal condemnation across the board. Even without the preface “f..k”, the mark of “Jews” in front of an Israeli store is derogatory and humiliating. It resurrects the darkest days of the Nazi regime when the word “Jude” was smeared in bold painting on the windows of Jewish stores to alert the Germans to avoid entering at any cost. And we know how this evolved and ended by Sep 1945. And any criticism on the state Israel cannot be used as mitigating circumstances or justification for anti-semitism and other attacks against Jewish and/or Israelis. We should all be united and demonstrate zero tolerance to such abhorrent crimes.