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On Saturday evening, five Hasidic Jews were stabbed with a machete by a man who intruded into the Monsey (New York) home of a rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration. The attack took place three weeks after a Jersey City shooting in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.  

The suspect in the Monsey attack, Grafton Thomas, was picked up by the police in Harlem, and was officially charged with hate crimes by federal prosecutors -- with the incident now being described as an “act of domestic terrorism.”  

“Officials said they had recovered handwritten journals expressing anti-Semitic views, including references to Adolf Hitler and ‘Nazi culture,’ and drawings of a Star of David and a swastika,” the New York Times reported.  

The NYT also advises that when the suspect’s phone was recovered, his browser revealed anti-Semitic searches -- such as, “Why did Hitler hate the Jews?," and “German Jewish temples near me,” as well as an article entitled “New York City Increases Police Presence in Jewish Neighborhoods After Possible Anti-Semitic Attacks. Here’s What to Know.”  

Thomas’s family told the Times that the man had a long history of mental illness, including schizophrenia.  

In response to yet another anti-Semitic act, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio both announced that police patrols will be stepped-up in Orthodox neighborhoods. Similar promises had been given after the Jersey City shooting. 

“Both before and especially after the Monsey attack, many New York elected officials and others, especially from Orthodox Jewish communities, said [that] Cuomo and de Blasio were not doing enough to combat rising anti-Semitic incidents and attacks,” reads Gotham Gazette.  

On Monday, during an interview broadcast by NPR, de Blasio stated that he considers “this a crisis,” and noted “a growing anti-Semitism problem in the whole country.” 

The Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis said that “we should be celebrating this week, celebrating life. Not commemorating the loss of life and the attack on life.”