Antisemitism leads continued spike in hate crimes in New York City

NYPD crime police
File photo.
Photo by Dean Moses

Hate crimes continue to rise in the Big Apple since the bloody war erupted in the Middle East last month, police said.

According to NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny, police had made great strides in combating hate crimes in New York, dropping 20% in 2023 when compared to 2022. 

However, the conflict in Israel and Gaza has prompted a surge in biased crimes since Oct. 7. As of Nov. 13, that year-long statistic went from trending at -20% to -9%, which shows a massive rise in hate-fueled acts to change an annual number so drastically over the course of several weeks.

“We have had a total of 132 possible hate crimes reported versus 85 the same time last year. So, since October 7, we’ve had an increase of 55% in hate crimes,” Chief Kenny said.

Police say the spike is predominantly driven by antisemitic crimes. Out of the 132 hate crimes reported, 91 of those are believed to be motivated by antisemitism, a big leap from 51 incidents reported last year. There have been 10 reports of anti-ethnic crimes—which includes acts targeting Palestinians—in comparison to 2 reports last year. Anti-Muslim incidents have also shot up with 10 reports this year versus 0 last year.

“That is all since Oct. 7,” Chief Kenny said. 

Police say many of these crimes are not necessarily acts of violence but are aggravated harassment such as verbal abuse or threats via messages or phone calls. These acts of hate also include graffiti, such as swastikas being scrawled on walls.

Police also state that numbers change based on findings yielded by investigations. Crimes not initially deemed to be a hate crime could be upgraded to one and vice versa depending on what exactly initiated the action.