18 October 2004

ISFSP commends Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY-D) for calling upon the New York City Police Department to investigate recent Brooklyn crimes, including swastikas painted on the Sephardic Community Center, as hate crimes.


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The International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) commends Congressman Anthony Weiner for calling upon the New York City Police Department to investigate the recent rash of anti-Jewish graffiti as a crime targeting Jews-solely because they are Jews.

During the week of October 11, 2004 swastikas were found painted on at least twelve different establishments including synagogues, the Sephardic Community Center, yeshivas, schools, medical buildings and funeral homes throughout Brooklyn. Many of these were spray painted prior to the Jewish Sabbath, possibly so the Jewish community would see them when they went to services. This was not the first time, the same happened a week earlier. The mere fact there were over a dozen separate Nazi emblems painted over a section of Brooklyn shows someone or some group is targeting the community.

Hatred for the Jewish community is not exclusive to New York. In the past two weeks swastikas have been painted on a synagogue in Erie, Pennsylvania, a South New Jersey synagogue, as well as in California. Shelomo Alfassa, Executive Director of the ISFSP stated:

It is critical that people realize a swastika painted in the dark of the night is not just an act of graffiti, it is a physical manifestation of hatred towards the Jewish community, acts such as this should be a warning that all Jews, in all geographical areas should be alert to their surroundings. People should realize they are being watched and by those who do not wish them well.

The ISFSP believes it is important the authorities not only look at the 'traditional' Jewish haters such as white supremacist groups, but investigate more contemporary outward haters of the Jewish community. Because a police car was also targeted, police should also potentially regard this as work of a group (or individual) which considers themselves a self-declared enemy of both the Jews and the United States. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there are a number of indications American neo-Nazis are continually working with Islamic terrorist groups and it has been said an operational alliance may be taking shape in the United States.

House Representative Weiner who represents people of all faiths and backgrounds living in Queens and Brooklyn, New York should be commended for his immediate action requesting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to investigate these alarming incidents under established state hate crime statutes. A defender of both New Yorkers and the country, after the 9/11 attacks Rep. Weiner was the only New Yorker appointed by House leadership to the Homeland Security Task Force. As a member of the Task Force he has passed legislation to greatly enhance the flow of information between state and federal authorities investigating terrorist threats

Persons with information on this crime can call 1-800-577-8477 to leave an anonymous tip.


The International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) is a Jewish agency developed to serve the Sephardic community--the descendants of the Jews of historic Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Levant who share both common religious and cultural bonds. Although based in the United States, the ISFSP is an advocacy organization representing Sephardim internationally. The ISFSP also functions to produce high quality Jewish educational projects which will educate the public on the rich Sephardic Jewish communities, past and present.

The ISFSP is a a non-profit organization.



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