Nov. 23, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Queens elected officials gathered outside a bagel shop Monday to denounce anti-Semitism—two weeks after the store came under attack for flying the Israeli flag
Assembly Member David Weprin organized the rally after a man threatened to burn down Bagels & Co. on Union Turnpike unless its employees took down the Israeli flags that line shop’s roof and closed the store.
Weprin presented commending citations Monday to the two employees who confronted the man after rejecting his demands. The police are still looking to identify the suspect.
“We must all do our part to confront hate and anti-Semitism in our community,” Weprin said. “The bravery displayed in confronting this dangerous individual is truly commendable.”
Weprin was joined by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Assembly Member Clyde Vanel, Council Member Barry Grodenchik, Council Member-elect Linda Lee, Democratic District Leader Tammy Osherov, Queens Community Board 8 Chair Martha Taylor, Rabbi Manes Kogan of the Hillcrest Jewish Center and Chazaq Founder Rabbi Yaniv Meirov.
Richards said the incident was particularly alarming so close to Hanukkah.
“Hate of any kind will never have a home in Queens — especially anti-Semitic bigotry just days before the start of Hanukkah,” he said. “Today and every day, I proudly stand with our borough’s Jewish community against such senseless and dangerous discrimination.”
He expressed gratitude to the store employees who stood up to the suspect.
“Thank you to the store staffers who intervened on behalf of the employees and customers of Bagels & Co., and thank you to all our community allies today for affirming that Queens will never waver in the face of hatred and anti-Semitism,” Richards said.
Vanel stressed that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in New York.
“New York prides itself on being a melting pot of different traditions and cultures,” he said. “We will use the full weight of the law to combat any forms of bigotry that try to make their way into our neighborhoods.”
I joined @DavidWeprin @DRichardsQNS @BarryGrodenchik @clydevanel @TOsherov at Bagel & Co. to present a citation thanking the two employees who didn’t hesitate to confront anti-Semitism in their store. Their heroic actions remind us all that hate will never be welcome in Queens! pic.twitter.com/zn05kbNSBh
— Linda Lee for NYC (@LindaLeeforNYC) November 22, 2021
The NYPD released surveillance video of the suspect in hopes that someone will identify him.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).