the number of threats has increased significantly in recent days
A volunteer Jewish security group helped apprehend two teenagers who allegedly targeted a synagogue this week with an air gun containing gel bullets. Patrols are being carried out around the clock as the hotline receives a huge number of calls following the Hamas attack on Israel, according to New York Post.
According to Levi Leifer, director of Shmira Public Safety, calls have increased by 110% as fear and crime grip New York’s Jewish communities. “People are panicking,” Leifer said.
“We all saw what happened in Times Square with the swastikas and things like that, so people call the hotline with minimal suspicion,” he added, referring to a pro-Palestine rally on Sunday, October 8, where one of the participants captured with a swastika on his phone.
One such call came Wednesday night when two teenagers allegedly fired gel bullets at a synagogue in Brooklyn. The caller contacted the patrol organization, and within 20 minutes, volunteers had cornered the suspected teenage fanatics.
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“Because of the number of volunteers that work in the area that we cover, we were able to track them down and help identify them,” Leifer said.
Before Saturday’s deadly Hamas attack, volunteers patrolled the area until the early hours of the morning. Patrols are now conducted around the clock, and the number of observers – including retired volunteers and scooter patrollers – has also doubled. Some calls turn out to be unfounded, “but some are serious,” Leifer says.
Although anti-Jewish hate crimes have decreased since last year, the latest data provided by the NYPD only includes the period up to Sunday, October 8th. Accordingly, these data do not cover the entire subsequent week, after Hamas carried out terror on the territory of the Jewish state, which led to the war with Gaza.
In the UK, for example, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has increased sharply since then: from 7 to 10 October there were 89 anti-Jewish incidents.