As earlier reported on ChabadInfo, on Friday, Yosef Rachimi and Yisroel Gadasi, Yeshiva students on ‘Mivtzoim’ in Manhattan, had a Molotov cocktail lobbed at them in what appeared to be an antisemitically motivated attack. The attack should be viewed in the context of the recent wave of Arab terror against Jews in Israel, killing many and wounding dozens.
The students were standing at 356 West 37th Street near 9th Avenue when the firebomb barely missed them, and “hit the back of my heel”, reported Yosef, thus avoiding what could have been serious injuries. Realizing the enormity of the incident, Yosef, still in shock, ran a block away to his brother, Menachem Rachimi, who was also there on ‘Mivtzoim’.
Menachem reported never seeing his brother look so “panicked” as he followed him to the scene, where he saw the bottle’s broken glass on the sidewalk.
The explosion created a commotion, causing the Fire Department and police officers to respond to the scene.
Earlier today, Sunday, the NYPD showed how serious they were viewing this attack when the NYPD Hate-Crime Task Force invited the two students, as well as the third student who was a witness to the scene’s aftermath, to the Jewish Children Museum’s Conference Room where they were questioned and deposed through a translator.
A detective with the Task Force told ChabadInfo that though he cannot disclose details of the investigation, this may just be a part of “a much larger story”. “That’s the most I can say”, said the detective.
The special hate crimes investigative unit is called in for the most severe incidents, and the NYPD seems to be taking this case very seriously.
Yosef Rachimi told ChabadInfo, “I am shocked such a thing can happen in NYC in 2015. Nobody is immune to Arab terror, and the world must realize that terror in Israel can often also mean terror over here.”
This attack isn’t the first of its kind in Manhattan. Another attack that seemed to be motivated by Arab hate of Jews occurred in August of last year, when two cars flying Palestinian flags and multiple motorcycles pulled up beside a Jewish couple at 8:00 p.m. They then began yelling anti-Jewish statements, and threw a water bottle that hit the wife, and, when her husband came to her defense, they punched him in the head.