The New York Police Department opened an investigation after a man assaulted a waiter wearing a kippah at the Israeli-owned Sushi Tokyo restaurant in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.
Security camera footage from Tuesday night shows the suspect, wearing a traditional Arab scarf, passing by the restaurant when he spots the waiter and, according to witness accounts, yells, "you're a f—ing racist," before hurling a chair at him, smashing the restaurant's window.
"We have never encountered anything like this in all our years of business," says the restaurant's owner, Andrey Rudkov. "Just the fear of God. How do people do such a thing, where does all this hate come from? We filed a complaint with the police, there is a clear video, but they didn't get back to us, and it seems nothing is happening about it."
According to him, the restaurant, as well as many other Jewish-owned businesses around the city, have been suffering from antisemitism since October 7 and "it is important that the customers support us and can feel safe again."
NY 1 News identified the attacked Tokyo Sushi waiter as Dovi Joseph, who said he does not feel safe as a Jew in New York.
“Why would someone look at a guy with a yarmulke, take a chair, and call him an f—ing racist, and then throw it at him?” Joseph told the news channel.
Over the weekend, pro-Palestinian protesters who demonstrated outside the Israeli restaurant Zizi, also in the Chelsea neighborhood, broke tables, spray painted the Israeli flag that was displayed at the entrance with a red triangle identified with Hamas terror videos and threatened the employees there.
Police officers who were called to the scene remained to secure the establishment until the protesters left.
Israeli restaurants in New York City have faced increased targeting by pro-Palestinian protesters since the onset of the war in Gaza. The well-established Jewish eatery, 2nd Avenue Deli, after posting pro-Israel content on social media and donating a day's profits to the United Hatzalah emergency service, experienced vandalism with a swastika at its entrance. Additionally, a bakery's building had its windows smashed and was marked with "Free Palestine" graffiti.
At the Israeli Cleveland 19 restaurant, diners found themselves in the middle of a pro-Palestinian march, where videos shared on social media depicted the customers taking shelter at the restaurant's entrance in terror.