A day after Jewish college kids found it necessary to barricade themselves inside a library in the center of Greenwich Village while a mob of repugnant terrorist lovers banged on the locked doors trying to get at them, the message is being broadcast that, on this Sabbath, Jews in Brooklyn had better remain at home.
Stay inside. Lock the doors. A pro-Palestinian protest is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday in front of the Brooklyn Museum. That’s a mile from 770 Eastern Parkway, the headquarters of the largest ultra-Orthodox sect in the world, the Lubavitch Hasidim.
Roughly 20,000 observant Jews live around 770, in the neighborhood called Crown Heights. “Jews should definitely avoid the area,” an ultra-Orthodox news site called COLlive.com said a “security source” had advised them and the Shmira, the local Jewish self-defense association.
“There’s no intel at this time in which direction the protest will head. Locals should definitely stay away from Eastern Parkway in that area.” The Jews of Brooklyn feel they are at risk, and — this is the implicit corollary — they cannot be protected.
On the Sabbath, observant Jews do not use electric vehicles or screens of any kind. To pass the time on a Sabbath afternoon, they often go on a long walk. Not this weekend.
As the security source said, after all, who knows which direction the mob will go? Better for the Jews to stay inside. Just as it became a matter of life and death for them to stay inside back in 1991, in the very same neighborhood.
What everyone is afraid of is a repeat of August 1991. In Crown Heights that year, a three-day anti-Jewish riot followed a tragic automobile accident that took the life of a 7-year-old black child after he was hit by a car being driven by a Hasidic Jew. Not only were 38 Jews beaten, seven Jewish-owned businesses were looted and burned to the ground.