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Incoming councilwoman: Knockout game attacks caused by black-Jewish tension

(JTA) — An incoming New York City councilwoman said the wave of knockout game attacks is caused by tension between blacks and Jews.

laurie_cumboCouncilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo, who was elected to represent the Crown Heights neighborhood and will take office next month, made the statement in a Facebook post on Tuesday which calls for a zero-tolerance policy in reference to the “knockout game, ”  and for strengthening the relationship between African-Americans and Jews.

In the game, attackers try to knock out someone with one punch. At least ten such attacks have taken place in the Brooklyn borough of New York City since September, most directed at identifiably Jewish people, according to reports.

Cumbo said that she had many discussions with local residents during the primary season and that “many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes.”

The councilwoman-elect said she did not mean to bring up the issue “as an insult to the Jewish community, but rather to offer possible insight as to how young African American/Caribbean teens could conceivably commit a ‘hate crime’ against a community that they know very little about.”

Cumbo stressed her admiration for the Jewish community. However, she added, “I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success.”

She called for the communities to “gain a greater understanding of one another so that we can learn more about each other’s challenges and triumphs despite religious and cultural differences.”

Cumbo called for a detailed investigation of the knockout attacks, leading to “arrests and legal action.”

“If one person attacks another, regardless of the motivation, there is no justification for such an action,” she wrote.

Jewish leaders reportedly criticized Cumbo for her assertations.

Other incidents of Knockout have occurred in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., The Associated Press reported.

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Source: JTA

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Posted by on December 5, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,Jewish News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Incoming councilwoman: Knockout game attacks caused by black-Jewish tension

  1. Jewish Woman

    December 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Having worked with fine people in the black community, I believe that the councilwoman-elect has accurately reported the sentiment of some in that community. I might add that she has perhaps also described the feelings of some less-economically-successful Jews. It is not unusual for people who are not yet “making it” to resent the economic success of those who have.

    The irony here, is that many poor Jews live in Brooklyn. It is so easy to notice those who appear wealthy and to ignore the many who are not. That is especially true if one is already prejudiced against one’s Jewish neighbors.

    Physical attacks on anyone are absolutely un-excusable. Working together, we can try to improve everyone’s situation.