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N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo directs hate crimes task force to help investigate antisemitic attack

A Jewish man was beaten and robbed on his way to a synagogue, the governor said.

The New York State Hate Crimes Task Force will assist in an investigation into a violent antisemitic attack on a Brooklyn man as he walked to a synagogue, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol tweeted a video of what appeared to be two people abruptly attacking a person who was walking on a sidewalk behind a bush. The safety patrol wrote on Twitter that the victim was a man was on his way to a synagogue. Cuomo announced his action the day after the video appeared.

"Yet another sickening anti-Semitic attack, this time in Flatbush. It's outrageous," Cuomosaid Saturday in a statement posted on Twitter. "To our Jewish community—I know this is exhausting. No one should have to worry about being attacked for their religious beliefs, ever. We will continue to fight against hate in all its forms."

The New York City Police Department said a 41-year-old man reported that he was walking when two men approached him from behind and "repeatedly punched him in the face with a closed fist causing pain and a laceration" shortly after 5:45 a.m. Friday.

The man was not taken to a hospital and refused medical attention at the scene.

Police said the suspects took the man's black bag "containing religious items" and ran. Some of the items were recovered a few blocks away.

"The incident has been deemed possible bias," police said, noting that no arrests have been made and the Hate Crimes Task Force has been notified.

“To the Jewish Community of New York, I know this is exhausting," Cuomo said in the tweet. "No one should have to worry about being attacked for their religious beliefs, ever. We stand with you and we will not stop fighting until the plague that is hate has been eradicated. Love will win here.”

Earlier this year, several incidents of antisemitic vandalism and violence occurred across the country amid the weekslong deadly fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israelis and Palestinians. Leaders eventually agreed to a cease-fire. In May, President Joe Biden denounced the increase in antisemitic incidents, calling them "despicable."

"In the last weeks, our nation has seen a series of anti-Semitic attacks, targeting and terrorizing American Jews," Biden said then. "We have seen a brick thrown through a window of a Jewish-owned business in Manhattan, a swastika carved into the door of a synagogue in Salt Lake City, families threatened outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, and museums in Florida and Alaska, dedicated to celebrating Jewish life and culture and remembering the Holocaust, vandalized with anti-Jewish messages."