NYPD reports alarming 135% spike in NYC hate crimes in October amid Israel-Hamas conflict

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban on Sept. 18, 2023.
Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City saw a 135% increase in hate crimes in October compared to September, with significant increases in bias incidents against Jews and Muslims, the NYPD reported on Wednesday.

The NYPD recorded 101 hate crime incidents in October, up from 43 in September and 45 in October 2022. The significant majority of those, at 69 incidents, were against Jews, with antisemitic hate crimes up 331% over September and 214% over October of last year.

The city also saw eight Islamophobic hate crimes in October, a 700% increase over September and 800% increase over last October.

The increase in hate crimes comes in the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on southern Israel, where militants from Gaza massacred some 1,400 Israelis and abducted about 200 hostages. It also comes amid Israel’s aggressive military response in Gaza, which has seen more than 10,000 Palestinians killed, including about 4,000 children.

Overall, hate crime investigations are down about 9% this year, according to police, making the massive jump last month all the more striking.

The conflict in the Middle East has created a highly charged political atmosphere in New York, the nation, and the world, as marchers frequently take to the streets and partisans on both sides accuse opponents of supporting genocide or terrorists.

Major index crimes overall were up slightly over September, but down from a year ago, according to the Police Department’s monthly crime statistics. Murders, rapes, and burglaries were all down in October from a year ago, but robberies, assaults, and car thefts saw increases.