In what some say is a despicable incident of demagoguery, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called last night's stabbing in Chabad's main Brooklyn synagogue "reminiscent of [the] Har Nof" terror attack in which two Palestinian terrorists murdered four Jews inside a Jerusalem haredi synagogue and a Druze policeman outside it who tried to rescue victims.
Above: Dov Hikind
Elected and community officials held a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Crown Heights to discuss initial ramifications of the stabbing of a Yeshiva student hours earlier at Lubavitch World Headquarters.
22-year-old Levi Rosenblatt is currently undergoing emergency surgery to stop internal bleeding after being stabbed in the neck by an African American man at around 1:00am at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.
"This incident is reminiscent of Har Nof," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, referring to the recent terror attack by two Muslim men in a synagogue in Jerusalem killing 4 congregants and injuring eight.
Hikind said "Jewish communities around the world know what 770 represents," as the highly visited synagogue of the Rebbe and home-base for the world's largest Jewish network.
"A house of worship should remain a safe place," said Michael Miller of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). He called on additional security measures to be taken to ensure the safety of congregants and visitors.
And those measures are currently being put into place, said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who organized the press conference at the nearby Aishel center on Kingston Avenue. "770 will be receiving the enhancement in security that is necessary.
Chanina Sperlin, the governmental liaison of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC), said Mayor Bill de Blasio "assured that he will put extra protection on all Jewish religious sites in Crown Heights and throughout the whole city."
Sperlin thanked Emma Wolff and Avi Fink of the Mayor's office for their support and noted that the attacker scouted 770 earlier that evening when some 700 people were conducting Maariv evening services. "Thank G-d nothing happened then," he said.
Speakers also called on the Jewish and black communities in the neighborhood to "keep the peace." New York Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo said "It is important that we not allow this incident to divide our community."
The community continues to pray for the recovery of the Jewish victim, said anti terror activist Devorah Halberstam. Eli Cohen of the CHJCC reported that the student's mother will be flying in from Israel to be near her son. Currently, a cousin is with him.
Following the press conference, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson came to 770 Eastern Parkway to meet with Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, leaders of Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch which operates the Lubavitch Headquarters.
Despite the evidence that the assailant, who was killed by police, was mentally ill, Crown Heights Chabad activists like Barry Sugar of the so-called Jewish Leadership Council made similar equivalencies. Sugar even sent out a press release about last night's stabbing that contained pictures of dead victims of the Har Nof attack lying in pools of blood.
Rosenblatt, the victim of the attack, is in in Bellvue Hospital in Manhattan in emergency surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain. His family asks the public to pray for Levi Yitzchak ben Raizel.