On May 13, 2021, 29-year-old Ali Alaheri (allegedly) defaced a statue of Jesus and set fire to an American flag at St. Athanasius Church in Brooklyn, NY. He was charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime. This same man faces Federal arson charges for a fire set at the side of a Jewish school in Brooklyn on May 19th. Oh yes, he is also accused of stealing a bicycle and punching a visibly Jewish man. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force helps with investigations of violence such as this that is increasingly taking place in NYC.
FACT: There has been an increase of assaults on both Asians and Jews in the United States over the past year.
FICTION: Recently passed hate-crime legislation, such as the so-called anti-Asian-hate-crime bill will reduce violent attacks against Asians and other minorities.
62 Republican members of Congress voted against the above legislation. It is possible, though highly unlikely, that one or more of them are bigots who enjoy seeing Asians beaten up. More likely, they are the minority who understand, and whose constituents understand, that this legislation along with calls against anti-Semitism and anti-racism, are fronts for politicians and organizers to amass money and power. The legislation will be misused, abused and politicized to strip Americans of their freedom of speech and thought. It will not make citizens safer. The crocodile-tear-shedders promoting this legislation actually don’t care what happens to the man and woman on the street no matter their race, ethnicity or religion.
I am familiar with St. Athanasius church. I grew up a few blocks away from it and while I attended synagogue rather than church, my friends and neighbors were parishioners. I exchanged greetings with the nuns when we passed on the street and sometimes met them at my girlfriend’s home when they visited with her mother. I’m also familiar with synagogues and Jewish schools in the neighborhood, such as the one where the arson took place. And, like you, I cringed when I saw the footage of a hulking thug attacking an Asian woman on a Manhattan street while the security guards in a nearby building amorally ignored her suffering.
Assault is a crime that should be treated seriously. So is arson. While they may be on a different level than bicycle theft, that crime too needs to be addressed. Defunding the police and letting more criminals out on bail while talking about how bad hatred is, as the mayor of NYC has done, is hypocritical. Ignoring inner city violence because the perpetrators and victims share a skin color or pretending that honor killings aren’t taking place in the Moslem community is unconscionable. Any energy spent on deciding that attacking a white Protestant male is more acceptable than attacking an Asian woman, or that mugging a Jew is worse than looting a store, benefits the elite while encouraging divisiveness among citizens. Divide and conquer is a tactic of the Left and too many good-hearted but easily manipulated Americans are easy prey.
There are a few more days left on our
Affiliate Author Book Sale
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin work with a very select group of affiliated authors from the US and Israel. These books will enrich your life and the lives of those you love. The Skeptic and the Rabbi by Judy Gruen, I Only Want to Get Married Once by Chana Levitan, Hands Off! This May Be Love by Gila Manolson, and Aleph-Bet by Sarah Mazor are all on sale this week.