Cops are investigating a brutal bias-fueled attack in Crown Heights last weekend that left an Orthodox yeshiva student with a deep head wound. Gathering at the Brooklyn Jewish Museum in Crown Heights, members of the Jewish Black Alliance invoked the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King on his birthday Monday as they decried the injustices of racism. Officials were told that 16-year-old Samuel Balkany, a Lubavitch Hasid, was walking through Crown Heights Friday night when he was attacked by a group of five black males, who called him a Fu**king Jew as they beat and kicked him. The attack left him with a deep cut to his head that needed a staple to close. They didnt go through his pockets, they werent looking for his money, said Assemblymember Dov Hikind, co-founder of the Jewish Black Alliance. It was purely a physical, racial attack. All they wanted to do was beat up a Jew. Thats what it comes down to. I would like to meet these five people to find out why they have this hatred in their hearts. Jewish Black Alliance members who showed up to voice their outrage included Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries and City Councilmember Letitia James. Upwards of 40 legislators from throughout the five boroughs, as well as City Comptroller William Thompson and Senator Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, have agreed to participate in the Alliance, which will stand against anti-black and anti-Jewish bias incidents, as well as foster tolerance through education and sharing. We want to bring students from Harlem to the Jewish community and vice versa, Hikind explained. We want to bring a Holocaust survivor into the classrooms and bring someone from the black community to talk about their experiences of discrimination. A lot of people dont realize what it means to be a victim of discrimination simply because of the color of your skin you cant imagine it, he continued. But we can learn if real person tells us their personal stories. Thats what its all about. Despite the fact that Balkany was allegedly attacked by black males, State Senator Eric Adams said that Fridays bias attack would not fracture the new Alliance. Its not the creed thats important, its the deed, Adams said, adding that it was appropriate that the press conference was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We are not going to allow a dream that Dr. King had in the sixties turn into a nightmare in 2008, said Adams. Dr. King didnt just deal with issues important to African Americans, he focused on issues important to humanity, and as we revisit Dr. Kings message, we want people to understand that we all have to live together and that we have more in common now than we ever did. The attack against Balkany is being actively investigated as a possible bias crime, police said. Citing NYPD reports, the Daily News said Tuesday that Balkany has been involved in at least three other violent incidents in the last year. Maybe I have a kick-me sign on my back, Balkany told reporters.
©2008 Community News Group
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