Community Marches In Unity Following Midwood Hate Crime

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Peaceful marchers sent a clear message Sunday to vandals who torched cars and scrawled Nazi swastikas in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn where Woody Allen was raised: Don’t repeat the kind of attacks that once led to the Holocaust.

About 100 Midwood residents joined elected officials for the walk past four public benches from which 16 swastikas had been removed after the pre-dawn attack Friday.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports on the march

“It was horrible,” said Ascher Scheiner, 17, a student at a local yeshiva — a Jewish religious high school. “My friend woke me up and said he heard a loud explosion.”

On Ocean Parkway, three parked cars — a BMW, a Lexus and a Jaguar — had been set ablaze. In addition, the letters “KKK” were spray-painted on a van and anti-Semitic messages were scrawled on a sidewalk.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who represents the area, said authorities told him they believe rags were soaked in gasoline, placed under the cars and lit.

“I’ve never seen this level of violence here, in my 29 years representing this area,” Hikind told The Associated Press. “This goes beyond the pale — blowing up cars in the middle of the Jewish community.”

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports on the investigation

Hikind, who lives in the neighborhood, then rushed off Sunday to see his 90-year-old mother, an Auschwitz survivor. He said he walks past the benches with her on their way to Sabbath services.

“All I could think about was my mother sitting on a bench with a swastika,” he said.

Police made no arrests as of Sunday afternoon. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said dozens of empty beer bottles were found at the scene. He said they would be tested for fingerprints and DNA samples.

Police in the 66th Precinct bolstered patrols in the neighborhood — especially the scene of the attack.

The marchers carried an Israeli flag and were led by Hikind, state Sen. Eric Adams, Rabbi Chaim Gruber, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel and other community leaders.

“There was a time when vandals used magic markers to express hate; now they’re using gasoline,” Adams said.

Protesters noted the attack occurred one day after the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany on Nov. 9-10, 1938, when synagogues were set on fire and the windows of Jewish-owned shops were broken.

“I am the child of a Holocaust survivor, and this makes me uncomfortable,” said Judy Pfeffer, 62, a retired city education department employee who lives blocks away. “Even then, it was just vandalism. But it led to the Holocaust.”

Sunday’s march included about 25 people from the Occupy Wall Street movement in Manhattan, which put out a statement condemning the vandalism.

The mix of people who showed up for the march “shows that we stand together against hatred. And it makes residents here feel better,” Hikind said.

Midwood — a quiet, middle-class neighborhood about 45 minutes by subway from Manhattan — was predominantly Jewish until new immigrants began arriving in the 1980s from the Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Allen, the famed filmmaker, grew up in Midwood, as did U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer condemned the vandalism during an unrelated event on Sunday.

“It’s disgraceful and they should throw the book at the people who did it,” Schumer said. “Sometimes (vandals) think they’re pranks, sometimes they’re more malicious than that. Either way they cause great harm.”

What’s your reaction to the “Walk?” Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • AryanDan

    Well, you know right now the Zionist want war with Iran.

    It is common for the media to exaggerate stories like this
    in order to manufacture false sympathy
    to discredit real objections to Israel’s military aggression.

  • IgnoranteElephante

    How dare anyone say anything about those kind, lovable Jews, God’s chosen chlidren, who have done so much for this country.


    Nazis have always been a problem in NYC haven’t they? Those terrible
    Nazis. I think that there will be hollowcau$t surviors around in 100 years. ( western voices world news )







  • brendatobias

    Dear CBS News Webmaster – If you are going to open stories up for comment, you need to take more responsibility in screening the comments. There are vile and hateful statements up (not for the first time on this site either.)

  • TomNJ

    These are kids committing these acts, they are playing all of you. Sure, they need to be punished for their crimes, but it is not a hate crime. They only use KKK and nazi symbols because they know the media will jump on it and they will feel famous for a day. No true adult hate group would mix the 2 symbols anyway. Stop playing into their games. This only makes the next group of kids want to do the same thing so they can get on TV also. And by the way, they probably learned about hate and bigotry from the news media to begin with.

  • Fritz Von

    Get the jaws of life out, pry open your wallet, take out $13, and install a night vision camera on your house. I had to install one because my wonderful jewish neighbor kept putting his garbage in with my recycling. $13.

  • Joe of B'hurst

    27 Corona beer bottles found at the scene. That is a lot of beer for kids to be drinking out in the open, especially 3 blocks from the 70 Precinct station house. Why did they not drink it at Friend’s Field [city park], which is close by. For a bunch of drunk kids, they sure knew where to get spray paint, and gasoline, in the early hours of the morning.

    Something is not right about this picture.

  • Josh

    Many of the people in this march are usually nowhere to be found when gentiles are the subject of hate speech or attacks. Many of the people here will not stand up for rights of others in this country and only seem to care about civil rights when a swazstika is found somewhere. Anti-Semitism is disgusting, but I would be very wary of anything involving Dov Hikind who is a bigot, to say the least. I am proud to be Jewish, but this march was a sham and only puts a larger target on the Jewish community.

    • Omar


    • sk

      and there are other jews who fight for civil rights of very other ethnic group except their OWN! the liberal jews who fought for civil rights in the 1960s never got reconginition for their efforts! so either way you lose! Anyway, is it really such a big deal for orthodox jews to unite PEACEFULLY to stand against hatred in their community? would it bother you if other groups did the samething?

  • Vernon Hell

    It is sad hat a Jews would buy Nazi cars and odd that anyone targeting such cars would paint swastikas. But then these perps are not exactly mental giants.

  • Omar

    jews in the news………………BIG YAWN

  • RealityCheck

    Great picture of Al Sharpton and Chuckie Barron!

  • lastdays

    Holocaust deniers are so retarded its funny. Now go back to having sex with your sister.

    • Saltine

      Isn’t that what the Hassidics do??? They are all inbred, pedophilic, woman hating siphons on the gvt teet.

      Don’t believe me!? Go to any Food Stamp, Section 8, Medicaid office–these ppl can’t even be bothered going in person, they pay and send reps. These reps take thousands of cases in.

      At Food Stamps, they all use the same rabbi as a reference (for hundreds of families). This rabbi signs all their paychecks. They all pay rent to this same mysterious fellow and he signs all their birthcertificates.

      They all make the very same 333 a month in order to get the MAXIMUM in Food Stamps. they send their inbred boys to Israel and forget to take them off the Welfare, Section 8 and Food Stamp cases.

      They drive jags and BMWs—and then cry and complain that they were blown up??! How pray tell, do you AFFORD a Jag or a Beamer while on gvt subsidized, tax-payer bought programs????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • lastdays

    Holocaust deniers are so retarded its funny. Now go back to having sex with your sister.

  • lastdays

    A BMW, a Lexus, and a Mercedes. LOL. A Mercedes. Anyway, I think the graffiti was just cover for the real motives. Can it be confirmed that all three of these cars belong to Jewish people? Who has time to drink a case of beer at the scene before setting 3 cars ablaze? Something is fishy here.

  • Robert Smith

    I wish the JDL were still around!

  • Besalel

    Gam al Zeh, Kahane Tzadak

  • Diesel Strongboy

    No one saw anything, no one heard anything, right? These punks have to be caught red-handed by tough young Jews who will see to it that the law is the least of their worries. NEVER AGAIN!

    • Sonny

      The true only young touch Jews are in Israel. Let’s see a mandatory draft come HERE and see how many Hasidim are inducted. Please – that community is riddled with fraud. Dov Hikind is only around when there is a chance for him to be in the press so the schmucks in Boro Park and/or Midwood see he’s actually doing something instead of taking kickbacks from the local merchants.

  • The Realist

    Of course, the A.C.L.U. will sue on behalf of the vandals because the “Walk for Tolerance” hurts THEIR feelings and thus violates THEIR civil rights.

  • Alex

    Again these politicians talking to mass media to get publicity for re-election regardless of subject. What about police investigation? What about Kings County District Attorney investigation? Who got arrested? Who got brought to justice? Here in Midwood and Sheepsheadbay, we have several anti-Semitic actions periodically. When would be real work implemented to stop these crimes instead of sporadic marches and political talking? Press conferences, radio- and TV shows are for publicity and re-election but not for justice. So, where is justice with appropriate arrests?

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