Dec 30, 2019

Prosecutors charge Monsey stabbings suspect with federal hate crimes

A member of the Ramapo police stands guard in front of the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, Dec.29, Monsey, New York. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Prosecutors filed federal hate crime charges on Monday against 37-year-old Grafton Thomas — the suspect accused of stabbing five people in a Hasidic rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, during a Hanukkah celebration this weekend, the New York Times reports.

Details: Authorities said they recovered journals with anti-Semitic entries they believe belong to Thomas that included references to Adolf Hitler, "Nazi culture" and drawings of a Star of David and a swastika.

  • The criminal complaint against Thomas said the FBI recovered a phone they believe belonged to the suspect that had online searches with phrases like "Why did Hitler hate the Jews" and "German Jewish Temples near me."

The big picture: The attack was roughly the 13th anti-Semitic attack in the area in the past few weeks — as New Jersey Jewish communities are still reeling from a targeted attack on a kosher supermarket earlier this month.

Read the criminal complaint.

Go deeper: ADL official says the Jewish community is facing an "epidemic" in New York

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In photos: Tight security as 90,000 Jewish people mark Siyum HaShas in N.J.

The New Year's Day gathering at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., to mark Siyum HaShas. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly 90,000 Jewish people congregated at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey amid tight security Wednesday for Siyum HaShas, a celebration of the completion of the reading of the entire Talmud, per CBS.

Why it matters: It comes after a spate of anti-Semitic attacks in New Jersey and nearby New York, including a shooting at a New Jersey kosher supermarket and a mass stabbing at a rabbi's home last month. Anti-Defamation League vice president Oren Segal has said New York Jewish communities are facing an "epidemic" of hate crimes.

See imagesArrowJan 2, 2020

Bloomberg on anti-Semitism: "Presidential leadership matters"

Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group.

Michael Bloomberg gave a speech in Florida Sunday on how his Jewish faith has shaped his 2020 bid.

What they're saying: Speaking at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and Tauber Academy, Bloomberg harshly criticized President Trump over his leadership on the issue, stating: "Anti-Semitism is hardly the exclusive domain of one political party. It can be found on both the right and the left — on town squares and campus quads. But there is one fact that we cannot ignore: Presidential leadership matters."

Go deeperArrowJan 26, 2020

Bolsonaro fires Brazil's culture minister after Nazi-linked comments

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Sergio Lima/AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired his culture minister Roberto Alvim on Friday over an address in which he used phrases and ideas similar to an infamous 1933 speech by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, AP reports.

Why it matters: "The outcry was the latest flash point in a broader debate over freedom of speech and culture in the Bolsonaro era," the New York Times writes. Bolsonaro won the presidency after running an anti-leftist campaign with promises to fight corruption and violence.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020