Another act of hate: Manhattan restaurant hit by vandals with antisemitic graffiti

Manhattan vandals behind antisemitic attack at restaurant
Four vandals behind an antisemitic graffiti attack at Zizi NYC restaurant in Chelsea on May 7, 2024.
Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police in Manhattan are looking for a band of vandals who smeared antisemitic writing onto a popular Mediterranean restaurant earlier this month.

The NYPD released images Tuesday night of the suspects sought for the hateful attack, which occurred at about 12:20 a.m. on May 6 at Zizi NYC, located at 182 8th Ave. in Chelsea.

According to authorities, the group of four unidentified suspects used red paint to write “Zionism Out” on the restaurant’s exterior, and also drew a swastika on the door. The vandals also plastered the eatery with stickers reading “The River,” “The Sea” and “No Zionist Scum in NYC” — echoing some of the language used at pro-Palestine protests in recent months.

After defacing the restaurant, cops said, the vandals fled the scene in an unknown direction.

Chelsea restaurant hit with antisemitic graffiti
Zizi NYC restaurant in ChelseaPhoto via Google Maps

The incident was reported to the 10th Precinct. Zizi, which notes on its website that it serves up diverse Mediterranean cuisine that “draws inspiration from the culinary giants of Tel Aviv,” posted gratitude to the NYPD on Instagram for responding to the incident and protecting the eatery.

“In the past weeks we have experienced several incidents of vandalism and hatred from anti-Semitic activists in the neighborhood,” the post also noted.

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A post shared by ZIZI (@zizi.nyc)


Antisemitism has exploded around New York City since the terrorist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, which left more than 1,200 people dead and hundreds more taken hostage. Israel responded by launching war against Hamas in Gaza to free the hostages and dismantle the terrorist operation. 

Pro-Palestine protests have occurred frequently around New York since the Oct. 7 attacks, many of which featured speakers accusing Israel and her allies of being complicit in genocide, and chanting phrases such as “From the river to the sea” — a statement which has been interpreted as a call for the destruction of Israel itself.

Along the way, Jewish places of business around New York have been vandalized with anti-Zionist and antisemitic messages. For example, Effy’s Cafe on the Upper West Side was hit in March with graffiti reading, “Form line here to support genocide.”

Hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers have increased every month since the Oct. 7 attacks, according to NYPD statistics. The Anti-Defamation League reported that New York state experienced a 110% surge in antisemitic incidents last year, including physical attacks. Hate crimes against other groups, including Muslim New Yorkers, have also increased.

The May 6 incident at Zizi NYC has been referred to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, which is now leading the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism or the suspects’ whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (formerly Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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