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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kristallnacht in Highland Park, NJ (UPDATE: Arrest, video)

I am still piecing things together, but it appears that about five Jewish owned stores were vandalized last night in the heavily Orthodox Jewish community of Highland Park, NJ.

Someone threw stones through the windows of a pizza shop, two Judaica stores, a kosher restaurant and a Jewish-owned hardware store.






More photos here.

I am also told that someone threw a brick through the windows of Rutgers Hillel, only a couple of miles away in New Brunswick, yesterday.*

A Facebook comment alleges "Someone also got verbally attacked last night at Dunkin [Donuts, also kosher.] He threatened a second Kristalnacht."

Yesterday was the anniversary of the 1947 UN Partition Vote to create a Jewish state in Palestine.

From what I can tell, there are other stores in between the ones that were hit that were untouched.

So far no news media has covered this, I'm only getting stuff from Facebook and email.

UPDATE: A statement from the Highland Park, NJ police:

The Highland Park Police Department would like to advise you about the reported incidents of vandalism that occurred overnight on Raritan Ave.

Detectives are actively investigating these incidents and are in contact with and coordinating efforts with other law enforcement agencies that may be able to expedite the investigation.

We are currently gathering and reviewing information that may lead us to a suspect. We cannot be more specific because we do not want to jeopardize the investigation.

We would also like to briefly address the fear that these are acts motivated by anti-Semitism or that these are bias crimes. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has been notified, but it is too soon to reach a conclusion.

All of our officers are aware of the sensitivity of this situation and we will make every effort with patrols and surveillance to keep everyone safe. We would like to encourage you to communicate with your congregants and urge them to avoid speculation which could lead to unnecessary anxiety.

Here is a map of where the vandalism occurred. All of the stores are Jewish or owned by Jews. There are plenty of other stores in between.


I think it is a bias crime.

Algemeiner has more.

UPDATE 2: There were apparently also attacks at two other locations in New Brunswick yesterday - from what I understand, at the Rutgers Chabad house and at an Israeli-owned falafel place.

*According to Tablet, Rutgers Hillel was attacked on Saturday night. But the window at Maoz, the falafel shop in New Brunswick, was shattered (I believe) yesterday. I am told the Chabad was vandalized early Sunday as well.

UPDATE 3: Voz iz Neias reports:
A 52 year old New Brunswick man has been placed under arrest and charged with five counts of criminal mischief after smashing the windows of five Jewish owned businesses in Highland Park.

Richard Green of Bayard Street was arrested this afternoon in New Brunswick. No determination has been made yet if the incident will be considered a bias crime and an ongoing investigation will determine if Green was responsible for other acts of criminal mischief that have occurred in the past few days.
According to Highland Park mayor Stephen Nolan, Green has been sent for a psychiatric evaluation.

Here is video from Fox NY: