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SPECIAL REPORT

With anti-semitism on the rise in New York, Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn are on the defensive

Screengrab from FRANCE 24's report on the rise of anti-semitism in New York City.
Screengrab from FRANCE 24's report on the rise of anti-semitism in New York City. FRANCE 24

Anti-semitic violence has risen across the US over the past half-decade and in particular in New York City, which has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. FRANCE 24 visited Crown Heights in Brooklyn, a predominately Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood, and discovered locals are determined to stand up against the hate.

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Police data shows that 421 hate crimes were committed in New York City in 2019. Of those crimes, more than half were anti-semitic attacks

December was a particularly violent month for Jews in New York and the New Jersey area with a shooting in a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City that left four people dead, an attack on Orthodox Jews in Monsey, New York and dozens of incidents against Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.

Locals there are on the defensive. “We’re not going to sit around like sheep to the slaughter," said one resident.

Some are even arming themselves with pepper spray.

There is also an increased police presence in the area and the vigilante group the Guardian Angels is out patrolling the streets every day. 

Click on the video player above to watch this special report by Jessica Le Masurier, Celine Bruneau and Simona Bua.

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