Jewish Family Attacked at Elementary School Graduation

( – Anti-Semitic outbursts have plagued New York City public schools since the October 7 Hams attack on Israeli territory. Pro-Palestine and anti-Israel demonstrations have plagued several NYC metro universities and school districts with increasing frequency as the Israel-Hamas War continues claiming lives on both sides. Media outlets recently reported on the plight of a Jewish family who found themselves under attack while attending an elementary school graduation.

On June 23, media outlets reported that an Arab Muslim family attacked a Jewish family during a weekend graduation ceremony for fifth graders attending Public School 682 in Gravesend, a neighborhood in south-central Brooklyn.

The violent confrontation supposedly occurred after a Jewish mother named Lana and her Dominican-born Catholic husband, Johan, tried to take family photographs during the ceremony. News outlets withheld the couple’s last name at their request.

Lana claimed the family of another student wearing waving a Palestinian flag and a graduation cap that read “Free Palestine” pushed them aside. She recounted, suggesting there was plenty of space for both families.

An older man turned toward the chaotic situation, stating, “Free Palestine.” Johan said the graduation ceremony wasn’t the time or place to discuss Palestine. The man responded by shouting, “Gaza is ours, death to Israel.”

The situation quickly turned violent. Another man “came out of nowhere” and punched Johan. He then put the Catholic father in a chokehold and wrestled him to the ground. Members of the pro-Palestinian family then started beating Johan. Likewise, someone pulled Lana’s hair and knocked her to the floor while shouting, “I will kill you.” Two male teachers eventually intervened and helped break up the attack.

Johan sustained several bruises and scrapes from the incident, along with swelling on his body, face, and head. He received outpatient treatment at a local hospital. Lana suffered a laceration on one of her legs. Likewise, the couple’s 16-year-old son received minor injuries after someone punched him in the face.

Lana told media outlets that the Arabs “targeted my family because we are Jewish.” She said a graduation ceremony is “supposed to be joyous and memorable” and not a “violent and traumatizing” event.

A New York Police Department spokesperson later confirmed that officials arrested a 26-year-old suspect and confirmed that officials assigned the ongoing investigation to the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

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