Guardian describes antisemitic Crown Heights riots as two communities “clashing”

A Dec. 29th Guardian report on the brutal Monsey stabbings which targeted Chasidic Jews on Saturday included the following passage, noting comments by NYC mayor Bill De Blasio:

De Blasio invoked the Crown Heights violence of the early 90s when black and Jewish communities in Brooklyn clashed violently.

To describe the Crown Heights Riots, which has been aptly characterised by some as the first anti-Jewish pogrom in US history, as merely two communities “clashing violently” is obscene.

The incident in question began after a Jewish driver accidentally hit two black immigrant children, killing one of them.  Later that evening, based on unfounded rumors involving police and Jewish culpability in the boy’s death, blacks began rioting and chanting antisemitic slogans.  Some incited the crowd to kill a Jew, which they ultimately did.  Yankel Rosenbaum, a young Australian Orthodox Jew, was beaten and stabbed to death by a mob of up to twenty young black men on the first night of the two day riots. 

In addition to the murder of Rosenbaum, over a hundred police officers and dozens of civilians were injured during the riots, which included bottles and rocks thrown at Jews and Jewish shops in the neighborhood, shootings, robberies, arson and assaults.  Jewish homes or shops with mezuzot helped the rioters choose their targets.

A NY Times reporter who covered the riots, in complaining that his editors rewrote his original copy to erase the one-sided nature of the violence, was clear: “In all my reporting during the riots I never saw – or heard of – any violence by Jews against blacks”.

Contrary to the Guardian claim, there were no “clashes” between blacks and Jews.  To suggest some sort of moral equivalence between perpetrators and their Jewish victims is a quintessentially Guardian, ideologically driven rewriting of history.

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