There has been a significant rise in anti-Semitic attacks across New York this year, including a sharp uptick over the past week of Hanukkah that culminated in a violent machete attack Saturday on a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York., that left five people injured.
The suspected perpetrator of that crime, 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, has now had hate crime charges officially filed against him by federal prosecutors, Breitbart reported.
Hate crime charges filed
Thomas was reportedly charged with five federal counts of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs by attempting to kill with a dangerous weapon and causing injuries.
According to the New York Post, the federal hate crime charges came in addition to the state-level criminal charges Thomas is also facing, which include five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary stemming from his forcible entry into the rabbi’s home where the Hanukkah celebration was being held.
Thomas pleaded not guilty to the state charges on Sunday, but he has been identified as the culprit who broke into the rabbi’s home and began to hack and slash at Jews celebrating Hanukkah with a large machete, causing serious wounds that included a severed finger, deep cuts, and a fractured skull for one of the victims.
Breitbart noted that Thomas was arrested roughly two hours after the attack in Monsey when he was located about 30 miles away in New York City. He reportedly said “almost nothing” as police took him into custody, but was covered in blood and smelled of bleach, as if he had made a futile attempt to eliminate evidence of the horrific attack.
Left blames Trump
Of course, Thomas’ family has professed his innocence and also claim that he has long suffered from mental illness and is not a hateful person or affiliated with any known hate groups.
At the same time, a number of prominent Democrat politicians in New York and across the country — chief among them New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — have attempted to pin responsibility for the Monsey attack and all other recent anti-Semitic incidents on President Donald Trump.
Quite ludicrously, many on the left have attributed the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes to Trump’s rhetoric and have accused him of not sufficiently condemning such acts of discrimination — despite the fact that Trump is arguably the most pro-Jewish and pro-Israel president in U.S. history.
Furthermore, Trump has repeatedly denounced anti-Semitism — he even recently issued an executive order specifically targeting such — and he did indeed condemn the particular atrocity committed in Monsey with a tweet issued the day after the attack.
“The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific. We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism. Melania and I wish the victims a quick and full recovery,” the president posted.
Hopefully, the individual responsible for the terrible assault on Jews celebrating Hanukkah will be found guilty on all counts and be held fully accountable for his hateful and violent actions against a historically oppressed minority.