How to Protect New York's Jews

(New York Times) Mitchell D. Silber - I spent the past two years crisscrossing Europe to assess security threats to Jewish communities facing a rise in anti-Semitism. To protect the Jews of greater New York, deterrence is crucial. Increased police patrols, the establishment of fixed posts and even the use of undercover officers, dressed as observant Jews, are tactics that should be deployed for the foreseeable future. Data show a third of the recent anti-Semitic attacks in New York are committed by people with histories of psychiatric problems. Rather than being released immediately, those arrested should be formally evaluated to determine whether other intervention is necessary. Failing to treat individuals with documented mental health issues is not an acceptable solution. The data also show that almost 2/3 of the attacks in New York City are committed by juveniles who are local residents. City Hall must develop an age-appropriate restorative justice option for those adjudicated as juvenile offenders for their participation in hate crimes. In addition, comprehensive anti-bias education programming needs to be instituted in city schools. The need for self-defense by Jews is unfortunate - in part, it's a failure of the American promise of freedom and toleration that a minority group must learn to provide for its own defense; but we must confront the world as it is. The Jewish community must be proactive in protecting itself. We're creating a community security program, a group which I lead, to help secure local Jewish institutions in the New York region. The writer directed the New York Police Department's Intelligence Analysis Unit from 2007 to 2012.

2020-01-01 00:00:00

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