Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Avenue Jew" - Brooklyn's answer to J-Street?

From Fox NY:

A vandal altered a sign at a subway station in a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn to make it read "Avenue Jew," according to Assemblyman Dov Hikind. A subway rider saw the graffiti, photographed it, and contacted Hikind's office.
The photo shows the letters "e" and "w" in blue spray paintin at the end of the "J" in the Avenue J sign. The station is located at the intersection of Avenue J and East 16th Street.

Police removed the sign and are investigating it as a possible bias incident, according to a news release from Hikind's office. But the NYPD has not confirmed that information.

"Education and vigilance are our only weapons in fighting against this blatant hatred," the Brooklyn Democrat said in a statement. "We must send a message to those who perpetrate these vile acts that we will not tolerate their behavior. These cowards need to know that we will find them wherever they lurk, and when we do, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

The station is in Midwood, the same section of Brooklyn where someone torched several cars and scrawled anti-Semitic and racist graffiti last week.

Midwood has a large Jewish population and is home to several orthodox synagogues.

I don't find this so offensive; actually I think it is kind of funny. The word "Jew" is not an epithet. When people like Dov Hikind (who certainly tirelessly fights for the Jewish community in Brooklyn) start acting as if the word Jew without any context is automatically offensive, that is a much bigger problem to me.

Put it this way: a proud but misguided Jewish kid could have done this, too.

This is not to minimize the recent, horrific anti-semitic attacks in Midwood (attacks that the "progressive Jewish left" like MJ Rosenberg, Max Blumenthal and the 972mag crowd were silent about, as they instead tweeted endlessly about their anarchist heroes at Occupy Wall Street.) There is a definite problem that needs to be addressed.

But this graffito* is not necessarily it.

*Yes, I couldn't resist being pedantic.

(h/t DoZ)