(JTA) – More than two-thirds of hate crimes on New York City subways this year have targeted Jews, according to the New York Police Department’s Transit Bureau, with anti-Semitic graffiti the most frequent offence.
Some 22 of 31 hate crimes on the subways this year targeted Jews, the Transit Bureau said in a report to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the New York Daily News reported. Last year there were a total of seven hate incidents in the same time period, according to the report.
The anti-Semitic graffiti included swastikas and threats to kill Jews.
In one of the incidents, in early February, commuters used hand sanitizer to clean away swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti drawn in permanent marker on the train’s maps, advertisements and windows. The incident and photos of the cleanup went viral on social media.
“The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do,” one of the commuters, Gregory Locke, wrote in a post on Facebook. “One guy got up and said, ‘Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.’ He found some tissues and got to work.”
Jared Nied, 37, who said those words and led the cleanup effort, received the Anti-Defamation League’s Stand Up New Yorker Award, which recognizes city residents for taking immediate action to help those being singled out for bigotry, or initiating efforts to denounce hate.