Calls for unity as Islamophobic harassment rocks Ridge

The Brooklyn Paper
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Jewish and Muslim leaders came together on Tuesday to denounce two weekend harassment incidents targeting Bay Ridge Muslims.

Passengers in a car bearing Israeli flags, sirens, and flashing lights hurled Islamophobic slurs at Muslims walking to the Thayba Islamic Center on Coney Island Avenue for evening prayers on July 18, say witnesses, and a similar incident occurred in the early morning hours of July 21 outside of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, according to police.

The events left Brooklyn’s Muslim community shaken, but united Jews and Arabs for a press event at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge on Tuesday.

“To be honest, I am a little scared,” said Zein Rimawi, who helped found the society more than two decades ago but was not present during Sunday’s dustup. “I’m afraid next time they will come with something else — a machine gun, a grenade.”

During Friday’s incident, the perpetrators also threw eggs at three elderly Muslim men while shouting “This is for your Allah,” according to Manaf Abdul, a spokesman for the Thayba Islamic Center. On Sunday, the drive-by aggressors hurled verbal attacks only, and members of the Islamic Society retaliated by throwing bottles, injuring the driver, according to police.

The flare-ups came as Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip lobbed rockets at one another and Israel launched a ground invasion, marking the latest escalation in back-and-forth violence sparked by the murder of three Israeli teenagers abducted in the West Bank last month. The fighting had killed 566 Palestinians and 27 Israelis by Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Jewish leaders came to the Bay Ridge society in the days following Sunday’s attacks to apologize for the incident, said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.

One Jewish leader called for peace among Muslims and Jews, citing the two faiths’ historical ties.

“It really breaks my heart,” said Jewish community leader Douglas Jablon. “We are relatives — we have the same grandfather, and we should act like it,” he said, referring to the biblical figure Abraham, considered by both Muslims and Jews their common ancestor.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit is investigating both incidents, said Capt. Raymond Festino, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct.

Sarsour said police told her they have identified three teenaged suspects in the July 22 incident, but no arrests have been made yet.

Festino declined to give any information about the suspects, but Sarsour said she was told that they came from outside of Bay Ridge.

The police plan to post cops outside of the Islamic Society continuously until the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends on July 28.

“We will not tolerate desecration of any type,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge).

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Real American says:
Good for these leaders coming together to take a stand. Keep this crap out of Brooklyn. You want to be a tough guy Zionist or Jihadist? - Then go overseas. Leave America alone, especially Brooklyn, you dopes.
July 23, 2014, 5:16 am
Brooklyn Boy from Bay Ridge says:
I'm glad these two groups came together. At the end of the day we are all human beings. No one should have to deal with hate. We all need to live in peace. The people who have hate towards another culture because they are different are just misinformed retards.
July 23, 2014, 8:24 am
Brooklyn Boy from Bay Ridge says:
Bay Ridge is a wonderful neighborhood and we need to keep it that way.
July 23, 2014, 8:25 am
JJ from Bay Ridge says:
I observed that many cars and SUVs have sirens and emergency lighting installed.
July 23, 2014, 9:01 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
—— from anyone will not be tolerated.

Regardless of where anyone stands on any issue.
July 23, 2014, 9:33 am
J from Philadelphia says:
The way this is framed as "both sides at fault" is not only inaccurate, but insulting and oppressive as well. It reinforces the idea that Palestinian resistance is on an "equal plane" as Israel's murderous assault on Gaza. What's happening is the occupier and oppressor, ISRAEL, is persisting in its genocide against the occupied and oppressed, Palestinians. Media outlets and commentators need to stop saying Israelis and Palestinians are "launching missiles, rockets" at "each other" because Israeli missiles and Palestinian rockets are NOT the same thing. Israel has disproportionate power and the backing of billions of U.S. dollars. It's really important to be conscious of the power dynamics.
July 23, 2014, 10:37 am
James Carter from Bay Ridge says:
When was the last time Israel attacked the US?
July 23, 2014, 10:41 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
The Brooklyn Paper is not necessarily the place to discuss the problems of the Middle East.

I will decline to discuss those things here.

No nonsense will be tolerated on my streets by any side for any reason.

It is not on.
July 23, 2014, 11:01 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
James Carter, the USS Liberty (
July 23, 2014, 12:09 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Phantom, the Brooklyn Paper covers things which happen in Brooklyn, and this was about an incident in Brooklyn, despite the fact the Middle East may have inspired it.
July 23, 2014, 12:10 pm
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
This article speaks of two alleged incidents. The more serious of them ( involving alleged egg throwing ) taking place well outside Bay Ridge.

A more honest headline would refer to --Brooklyn--, where both alleged incidents have been happened, rather than --Bay Ridge--, where only one of the alleged incidents may have happened.
July 23, 2014, 1:56 pm
ty from pps says:
Phantom -- You can keep saying "alleged" all you want... I don't think there is any doubt that the events occurred.
July 23, 2014, 2:14 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
J from Philadelphia. Simple fact is both sides are at fault. And specifically, religious extremists on both sides are at fault. The correct response in Brooklyn should be to ridicule both religions, even the moderates.
July 23, 2014, 2:41 pm
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
They may well have taken place, but this is a world where " everyone " knew that Tawana Brawley had been raped by a cop and that Duke University had been the scene of a sex crime committed by a bunch of lacrosse players.

Maybe I used the word " alleged " too many times, but it is noted that someone named Max Jaeger didn't even use it once.
July 23, 2014, 3:17 pm
jay from nyc says:
J from philly? Oh great another person who does not live here spewing things that are not relevant to the actual article, speaking of which, hey Tal where are you and are you gonna denounce these people behind these incidents in Brooklyn flying the Israeli flag, or is this also a Hamas plot too?
July 23, 2014, 5:55 pm
ty from pps says:
Doesn't Tal think people on bicycles are Hamas?
July 24, 2014, 7:48 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
J from Philly,

Perhaps Hamas should cease firing rockets with explosive warheads at civilian population centers (which is clearly a war crime under international law). That, combined with intermittent attacks into Israel to kill civilians reliably spurs an armed Israeli response. And since Israel is very capable militarily, (in contrast with Hamas' military incompetence) and Gaza is overcrowded, civilian deaths result. Either Hamas' leadership are fools for repeatedly picking a fight they cannot win, or they are purposefully sacrificing their civilian population in order to score propaganda points against Israel.
July 24, 2014, 11:24 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
J from Philly, even more aide is given to Hamas, but I don't see you giving any outrage over that. Instead of using those funds to help their people, they spend it on getting and making more weapons. As a matter of fact, even more funding goes to countries that actually hate the US, and I don't hear you expressing outrage over that either. If any funding should go to another country, I would rather see it going a country that is with the US rather than hating it. The only reason why the killing on the Palestinian side is higher is mainly because Hamas has a history of placing their own people into harm's way either as human shields or even placing their bases or storing weapons in densely populated areas, which are are violations of international law, but the UN continues to turn a blind eye to that. Meanwhile, there are fewer deaths on the Israeli side because their government actually does care about them, which is why there are so many bomb shelters not to mention the construction of the Iron Dome in some places, that is used to intercept incoming attacks. Once again, who is caring about there own people and who isn't? One other thing, the IDF actually made a field hospital to treat Palestinian civilians who were hit or wounded, and this is never done by Hamas, who not only uses their actual hospital only for their own members, but also as a base of operations, and I'm not talking about surgery. Overall, if you want it to all end, then convince Hamas to stop doing terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians as well as placing in end to their charter that calls for the destruction of a Jewish state along with all other Jews in general and then it will end there.
July 24, 2014, 3:20 pm
Mark from Maspeth says:
Ty, you've got to work on your Tal imitation. That was waaaay too well thought out.
July 24, 2014, 4:47 pm
jay from nyc says:
Tal, Israel starting this bombing campaign in relation for 3 Israeli teens being killed by a small criminal gang, they were NOT killed by Hamas.
Instead of treating this properly, Israel instead went to war, Hamas starting firing rockets back in self defense. This particular episode is ENTIRELY on Israel's hands . Including hitting the U.N. school today which had NO Hamas fighters or weapons at it, as confirmed by people who were there on the ground from the U.N. and the coordinates of which had been previously been given to the I(diot) Defense Force. AS for your argument that Hamas places weapons in densely populated areas. the entire place is overcrowded, there is no open empty space any where, and that is because the Palestinians have been kicked off their land with zero financial compensation, and ghettoized (and in the meantime Israel continues to take more land for their "settlements" which are totally illegal). There is simply no place to have a weapon that is NOT in a densely populated area in Gaza. That is just a fact of reality that you also willfully are blind to Tal
As for ending it, the only way that happens is with a ONE state solution where everyone has the same equal voting rights and lives under secular law with the same rules for everyone.
The current situation can not succeed, nor will a two state situation succeed either. as the land the Palestinian's are on does not even have enough water to support the population and it has to be trucked in every day and the land can not produce enough food either to support the population and it too must also be bought in. If you want peace Tal then that is the only way it will ever come.
U.S. should not be supporting Israel any more than we support Iran, as we should not support any government that believes it has an inherent right under the rule of law for a particular religion to be the majority population, it is perverse and violates our own Constitution.
July 24, 2014, 9:13 pm
Jay from nyc says:
Oh and Tal, I notice that you did not condemn the hate crimes committed in Brooklyn that are the subject of the article. GO figure.
July 24, 2014, 9:15 pm
Real American says:
Internet tough guys want to stir the pot here. Take your dispute over to the middle east and keep it out of Brooklyn.
July 24, 2014, 9:29 pm
jay from nyc says:
I agree Real, and keep my tax dollars out of it too!!!
July 24, 2014, 9:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jay, enough with that repeated myth especially after I have debunked that countless times over, so I won't bother to repeat myself. As for what happened in Bay Ridge, I won't condone what happened, but even other Jews called out those that attacked them, but I still don't hear any Muslims calling out Hamas. Meanwhile, there have been attacks on Jews over in Europe. In a Paris suburb, a shop owned by Jew was attacked by pro-Palestinian supporters. Over in Austria, a FIFA team know as Maccabi Haifa was beaten up by pro-Palestinian protesters who just ran down on and had Palestinian flags that forced the game they were in to be stopped. Do you approve of what was done? Did they have the right to attack them? However, I have never seen or heard about any pro-Israel protesters doing any of this in response to Hamas and their protests have been peaceful. BTW, most city and state politicians stand by Israel. On a side note, the decision on giving aide to Israel is made by the federal government, so I do have a say on that since my taxpayer dollars are going to this as well as your's are. One other thing, the FAA just ended the ban on all flights from the US to Israel after no longer seeing that there is fear that the planes could be hit by qassam rockets launched by terrorist organization you are probably cheering for. Overall, I won't say that everyone who is anti-Israel as anti-Semitic, I will just think that they are pro-terrorist.
July 24, 2014, 10:02 pm
Jay from Nyc says:
No Tal the only thing you have debunked is the.notion that you have any sense. Again Tal, why have you not denonced the things that happened in Brooklyn. I guess you do not care about the law being broken except when it serves you intersts perhaps?As for the soccer nonsense, you seem to have conveintly forgotten anoit jersulam beidar fc who reguarly do this same kind of nonsense agaisnt arabs and I dont see you disowning that. So what does that make you Tal?
As for me, I support the rule of law and Iam against all of this and rule of law dictates that the only solution with palestine isreal js one state with equal voting rights under a secular law for everyone.
Having said that, what happened on brooklyn is not an illegal jewish settlement, its not the gaza stip, its in brooklyn, and we have what are called hate crimes and we enforce the law and I hope those responsible for bringing their brand of stupid racism to the street where Iive are held axcointable and punished.
July 25, 2014, 5:23 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Now that I look at it, what exactly did they say that was even considered Islamaphobic? Just being in the neighborhood with Israeli flag doesn't make it that way. Perhaps, they were just talking about terrorist organization such as Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, and even Al Qaeda and why there are apologists and sympathizers for them. There is a good chance that this was all misinterpreted. Unfortunately, the article doesn't go in depth here, so we'll never know what they really said. However, what happened just recently in Europe against Jews was violent and possibly anti-Semitic, but this for some reason gets justified especially when it's being done by Muslims. As for the mention of Israel being a theocracy, this is completely false, and is a secular government that grants rights to all, plus Israel's government is very diverse. If you don't believe me in how diverse the Knesset is, then go over to the Protocols Elders of Zion, and they have the whole list, which debunks all claims of apartheid. On a side note, Hamas just launched even more rockets into civilian areas and this was shortly after Israel agreed to a cease-fire, which shows who is really for peace and who isn't. BTW, the only real reasons why the two state solution or any peace deals don't seem to work is mainly because both Hamas and Fatah don't want a Jewish state at all to exist, so making deals with them are very difficult to do.
July 26, 2014, 4:04 pm
jay from nyc says:
NO Tal, by law under the color of law, Israel is majority Jewish and that is both inherently non-secular and racist, ad for this reason the USA should fully divest and cut off all aid.
And no Tal, the reason a two state situation won't work is because it is inherently evil and unjust.
The solution is one state with equal voting rights for every one and equal protection under the law, or without it a continuation of the status quo which just means more bloodshed and war.
Again though Tal this article is about Brooklyn, not Europe, not Gaza, not Haifa, but Brooklyn, NY USA. After multiple posts you have not denounced the hate crimes. That petty much speak volumes about who and what you are.
Since you asked what was Islamlophobic, try reading again
"Passengers in a car bearing Israeli flags, sirens, and flashing lights hurled Islamophobic slurs at Muslims"
SO since you apparently just don't get it Tal, lets swap the Muslims and Jews out of this story and instead say its black people and white people, and the story then reads exactly the same otherwise as "Passengers in a car bearing Northern Virgina Battle Flags, (more commonly known to the uneducated as the confederate flag) sirens, and flashing lights hurled racial slurs at a group of blacks walking to church".
Get it now Tal?
July 26, 2014, 6:17 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jay, while I do condemn the Jews who shouted Islamphobic slurs, I have still yet to hear Muslims calling out their own kind when they act discriminatory on others. If Muslims really say that they are against terrorists of their own kind, then why do hardly any of them ever join in anti-terrorist rallies? I know this, because I have been to a lot of them, especially the ones that call out groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and the only Muslims I say in that vicinity are the ones calling for more terrorist attacks and death to Jews rather than calling out those terrorist groups and asking for peace negotiations to be made with Israel. Just to let you know, I have heard about many anti-Israel protests that actually involved attacking Jews in gernal, but I don't hear you calling that anti-Semitism. More importantly, if you don't think that Muslim fanatic holding up a sign in Berlin calling for the Jews to be gassed isn't being anti-Semitic, then I guess you do support the death of Jews. Just to add the hatred of Jews in Europe, they weren't allowed to go to a restaurant in Brussels that happened to have Palestinian flags and said that Jews weren't welcomed in response to what Israel has been doing to stop Hamas, which is once again an act of anti-Semitism. On a side note, the real reason the peace negotiations aren't work is because neither Hamas or Fatah wants to see a Jewish exists, and their charters say that in broad daylight.
July 27, 2014, 8:15 pm
jay from nyc says:
Again Tal this is Brooklyn you keep trying to make this about the middle east and it is not. Why is that Tal?
As for your anti-terrorist rallies, I have no idea why people in general don't go, but I am guessing most people don't go to those things because most people have jobs during the day and have to work darn hard to make money to pay their bills and take care of their kids. Simply put adults usually have other things to do besides risking getting arrested.
In addition if those rallies are linked to Israel then its not an anti terror rally, its a pro-Israel rally which is totally different.
You will never see me at an anti-terror rally because I think they are stupid, fighting bullets and car bombs with a banner? That is frikin stupid and maybe the dumbest thing I have ever heard. But I put on a uniform and defended this country, MY country from terrorists, does that mean I am pro-terrorist?
According to your ridiculous assertion it does, which demonstrates how ridiculous your "argument" is.
And where at any point do you see me or this article discussing anti-isreal rallies? Nowhere Tal, you made it up. Again if you read my post, instead of inventing things, you would see that I clearly posted I am against all of it.
So Tal stop inventing stuff. and deal with what is in the article, which is that hate crimes were committed against Muslims in Brooklyn NY, US friggin A and you don't seem bothered by that and instead want to whine about what happens in bfe Europe.
Wait, actually that makes sense that you would whine about that, as you don't live in Brooklyn and you whine about things here all the time, so it makes sense that you would whine about another place where you also don't live.
Now it all make perfect sense.
July 28, 2014, 6:05 pm

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