Police in New York are searching for three men they say yelled antisemitic statements to four men standing outside a synagogue before damaging a car outside and attacking two Jewish teenagers with a baseball bat.
The New York City Police Department said the men pulled up to Agudath Israel of Sixteenth Avenue in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday night in a blue Toyota Camry and "began to yell anti-Jewish statements at a group of four male victims who were in front of the location."
Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein wrote on Twitter that the group was yelling: “Free Palestine — kill all the Jews."
The four men who were outside the synagogue went inside and locked the door, prompting two men inside the Camry to get out of the car and start banging on the front door of the synagogue, according to police. The suspects then kicked the side-view mirror off a 2014 Audi Q7, causing more than $250 in damage, said police, who released surveillance video of the incident.
Police said the same three men are suspected of attacking two Jewish teenagers with a baseball bat 45 minutes later, NBC New York reported.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.
The incidents come as an apparent uptick of antisemitic vandalism and incidents across the country has been reported to police and shared on social media as deadly fighting between Israelis and Palestinians escalated over the past two weeks in the Middle East.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said while visiting Borough Park's police station on Sunday that the suspects would be caught.
"Anyone who perpetrates an act of hatred will be found, they will be prosecuted they will suffer the consequences," de Blasio said. "Antisemitism will not be tolerated in New York City, I want everyone to hear this loud and clear. We will stomp out antisemitism anywhere we find it. It is unacceptable."
He added that the NYPD would be out "in force in Jewish communities to protect people."
Scott Richman, the Anti-Defamation League's New York and New Jersey regional director, said in a statement Sunday that he was "outraged and disgusted by reports that Jewish individuals were harassed and attacked last night, being blamed for the conflict in the Middle East."
"Scapegoating, blaming, and harassing Jewish people on the streets of New York or anywhere else does nothing but increase division, stoke antisemitism and hatred, and create fear," Richman said.