Jewish family attacked at Brooklyn School graduation with the shouting ‘Death to Israel!’ - Hindustan Times
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Jewish family attacked at Brooklyn School graduation with the shouting ‘Death to Israel!’

Jun 24, 2024 02:15 PM IST

A Jewish couple was violently attacked at a Brooklyn school graduation by an Arabic-speaking family, with antisemitic slurs and threats escalating the incident.

A Jewish mother and her husband were attacked and beaten at a Brooklyn elementary school graduation by an Arabic-speaking family.

 A person holds a Palestine flag as people participate in a 'Climate Justice Means Free Palestine!' rally outside of the Citibank headquarters on June 18, 2024 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Michael M. Santiago / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)
A person holds a Palestine flag as people participate in a 'Climate Justice Means Free Palestine!' rally outside of the Citibank headquarters on June 18, 2024 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Michael M. Santiago / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

The agitator's family taunted them by shouting “Free Palestine!” and “Death to Israel!” per the New York Post report.

The incident occurred at PS 682 in Gravesend after the school’s fifth-grade graduation. The Jewish woman’s husband was thrown to the ground, put in a chokehold, kicked, punched, and hit with a stiletto heel, she told police.

“They targeted my family because we are Jewish,” said the mother, whose 10-year-old twins witnessed the assaults.

“A graduation event that was supposed to be joyous and memorable turned into a violent and traumatizing one.”

This attack is one of the worst antisemitic outbursts in New York City public schools since the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel.

“We consistently warned that tolerating overtly antisemitic views would create a toxic environment for Jewish students and families, inevitably leading to physical violence,” Tova Plaut, a city educator and advocate for Jewish peers, stated. “This has now occurred.”

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After urging the NYPD to reconsider, a spokesperson for the authority confirmed, “The Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.”

The Jewish couple’s last names are withheld to protect their children’s privacy

The graduation ceremony itself was uneventful, but Lana’s mother left upset when a student marched with a “Free Palestine” cap and flag, which the Department of Education had okayed as free speech.

After the event, Lana and Johan were taking pictures when relatives of the boy with the flag tried to push them aside. Then “an older man turned to us and said ‘Free Palestine!’ for no reason. My husband told him this was not the time or place for that but the man cursed at him in Arabic, and shouted, “Free Palestine, Gaza is Ours, Death to Israel,” Lana recalled.

The Johan was attacked and put in a chokehold, while their 16-year-old son was punched trying to help. Lana was also assaulted.

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Johan was hospitalized with injuries, Lana suffered a leg gash, and their teen son had a bloody nose. One man, Ez-Al Dean Bazar, 26, was arrested for assaulting Johan.

The NYPD initially did not classify the assault as a hate crime, stating, “nothing on my body says I am Jewish,” Lana said.

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