Antisemitic incident

Jewish-owned businesses in Bowman’s district vandalized with anti-Israel graffiti

A vandal spray painted ‘genocide supporter’ on the business’ windows; Bowman himself has accused Israel of genocide

George Latimer/ X

Hundreds of community members turned out on Thursday to show their support for two Jewish-owned businesses that were vandalized, Jan. 25, 2024

A pair of Jewish-owned businesses in Scarsdale, N.Y., nearby a Jewish community center were vandalized overnight on Wednesday by an unknown vandal who spray painted “genocide supporter” on their front windows.

The incident took place inside the congressional district represented by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), a critic of Israel who has himself accused Israel of genocide. The district is the site of an increasingly heated primary battle between Bowman and Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who has the backing of the pro-Israel community.

Hundreds of community members turned out on Thursday to show their support for the two businesses — including Latimer himself. The district has a sizable Jewish population.

Bowman issued a statement on the situation, in which he said, “I strongly condemn antisemitic actions that target Jewish Americans because of their religion or conflate the actions of the Israeli government with our Jewish neighbors.”

He said he’d sent a staffer to the scene to “look at the area.”

“Throughout history, vandalism has been used to target and harass Jewish communities, and the use of vandalism today against Jewish-owned shops here in our district is unacceptable,” Bowman continued. “There is no place for vandalism or violence anywhere in our communities.”

Latimer, who delivered remarks at the rally in support of the two businesses, posted on X, “Tonight the community came together to stand against antisemitism after two Jewish-owned businesses were targeted and vandalized. We must stand with Scoop Shop and Cheryl’s Closet, the Jewish community, and others who experience hatred in any form.”

“This hatred has no home in Westchester or anywhere,” he added.

Law enforcement officials are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in remarks yesterday that “the community is traumatized” and “it tears at you as a human being when you know that attack-full message, that hateful message is meant for you.” She said she plans to speak to the county’s district attorney about the incident.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the incident “unacceptable in every regard” and said “local law enforcement must swiftly find the perpetrator and continue to protect our vulnerable communities.”

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