Two Jewish men were attacked as “dirty Jews” in Brooklyn — before one of them was punched in the face for sporting an Israel Defense Forces hoodie, the pair told The Post Monday.
Blake Zavadsky and his friend Ilan Kaganovich, both 21, were at the Foot Locker in Bay Ridge shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday when they were allegedly accosted by two attackers.
“They asked us what we were doing in their neighborhood,” Zavadsky said. “They called us ‘dirty Jews.’”
He stated they have been significantly within the hoodie manner the logo of the Israeli army forces.
“The person who punched me said he was going to shake me if I didn’t take off my sweatshirt,” Zavadsky stated.
“‘How can you support these filthy Jews,’” stated Zavadsky, who allegedly snarled the person.
“One of the men punched Zavadsky twice in the face and spilled iced coffee on him when he didn’t take off the hoodie,” he stated.
The NYPD stated on Monday that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
Saying that the pair threatened him if he intervened, Kaganovich stated, “I can’t believe this happened.” “We ought to breathe in a position to put on what we need to put on.
“Blake and I are Jewish – we have to support Israel without issue. My family moved out of the Soviet Union because of this – in order to live a better life.”
Both males are from Brooklyn and attend school within the Big Apple – Zavadsky is a scholar at Staten Island College and Kaganovich is a scholar at Brooklyn College.
They said they were troubled that passersby didn’t intervene or try to help them.
The two men brought their story to City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, who told The Post she was incensed by the unprovoked attack.
“These boys’ families escaped the [former Soviet Union] precisely because of incidents such as this one,” said Vernikov, the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who now represents parts of southern Brooklyn. “Jews were beaten, jailed, and ostracized from society just for being Jewish.”
“We escaped to this country for freedom of religion, and here we go again, getting beaten up in broad daylight in the middle of Brooklyn, NY, in the United States of America,” she added.
Police have not yet identified the suspects, who fled after the attack.
Zavadsky, meanwhile, said he has no plans to stop wearing his IDF hoodie in public.
“You can’t be scared to walk outside and say you’re Jewish,” he said. “You have to be proud of who you are and stand up for what you believe — and not be intimidated.”
“Now all we have to do is spread the word and make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” he added.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday tweeted that the state police Hate Crimes Task Force was assisting in the probe and was “ready to offer additional support.”
“This is abhorrent and unacceptable,” Hochul said. “Antisemitism & all hate has no home in New York.”