By Matthew Fischetti
A swastika was found defacing one of the trees at American Playground in Greenpoint this past Sunday.
“This is one of the most wonderful spots for kids in our community,” Councilman Lincoln Restler, whose office was first alerted about the vandalism, said in an interview with the Greenpoint Star. “And I was deeply disturbed to learn of this hateful imagery appearing in the park.”
The councilman said that he turned the hateful carvings into a square with a key when he first went to check on the Franklin Street park, between Milton and Noble Street, on Sunday Feb. 26.
The councilman then alerted the local precinct and parks department about the issue, he said.
“Unfortunately, we have experienced anti semitic incidents in Greenpoint over many years. And a number of anti-semitic incidents across the city has grown exponentially over the last few years,” Restler said. “From swastikas being scraped, painted or drawn to physical attacks against Jewish people, and we need it to stop. Unfortunately, the anti-semitic attacks have been disproportionately targeted towards Orthodox Jews, who are more obviously Jewish, based on their dress and custom.”
The United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Restler said that creating cross cultural engagement opportunities with various community leaders and developing curriculum for schools are part of the solution to battling anti-semitism across the district.
Shortly after his election, Restler participated in neighborhood canvases along with Jews for Racial & Economic Justice in order to address anti-semitism, as the Jewish-Telegraphic Agency first reported.
There have been no arrests at time of publication.