Hanukkah Horror as Suspect Goes on Antisemitic Stabbing Spree

Hate crimes appear to be on the rise here in the United States as of late, with a number of shocking and horrifying attacks occurring almost weekly.

This is something that our nation hoped to have moved beyond by now.  The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s was the first step in this direction, and the subsequent decades were meant to guide us home.

Unfortunately, it seems as though we have not quite learned our less, as an antisemitic stabbing spree in New York City has left several Hanukkah revelers injured.

A knife-wielding man stormed into a rabbi’s home and stabbed five people as they celebrated Hanukkah in an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City, an ambush the governor said Sunday was an act of domestic terrorism fueled by intolerance and a “cancer” of growing hatred in America.

Police tracked a fleeing suspect to Manhattan and made an arrest within two hours of the attack Saturday night in Monsey. Grafton E. Thomas had blood all over his clothing, smelled of bleach but said “almost nothing” when officers stopped him, officials said.

An automated license plate reader alerted officers that the suspect’s car had crossed over the George Washington Bridge into New York City about an hour after the attack. Thomas was stopped and taken into custody about 20-30 minutes later, NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea said.

The focus of the attacks seemed clear.

The stabbings on the seventh night of Hanukkah left one person critically wounded, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The rabbi’s son was also injured, he said. Authorities have not provided a motive and Shea said investigators do not believe, at this point, that any other people were involved.

The attack was the latest in a string of violence targeting Jews in the region, including a Dec. 10 massacre at a kosher grocery store in New Jersey. Last month in Monsey, a man was stabbed while walking to a synagogue.

America’s deepening political divide certainly correlates with this latest escalation in hate attacks, and we must all look deep within ourselves if our nation is to survive this turbulent period.