‘Zionists can’t make jazz’ – Israeli club attacked in New York

“The red paint on the door [is similar] to 1930s Germany,” says Israeli co-owner of venue.

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli-owned music venue in New York City was targeted by anti-Israel activists on Wednesday evening, with assailants throwing red paint on patrons and causing damage to the property.

Omer Avital, a jazz pianist, is the owner of Wilson Live in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He told CBS New York that he’s lived in the city for more than three decades, but feels that the incident is indicative of a disturbing trend towards agitating at Jewish-owned businesses.

Avital told the outlet that last week, a sign was left outside the venue which read “Zionists can’t make jazz.”

A van with Palestinian flags was then spotted outside his club, blasting messages urging people to boycott his “Zionist business.”

He added that other Jewish and Israeli-owned businesses in the neighborhood had been similarly harassed.

But the aggression escalated on Wednesday, when red paint was thrown onto people waiting in line to enter Wilson Live.

Pictures from the scene showed patrons in paint-spattered clothes, as well as red paint running down the venue’s steps.

Lucy Wijands, who regularly sings at the club, said that “she instantly realized it was a hate crime” because of the “red paint, thrown aggressively.”

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But for unclear reasons, the New York Police Department chose to classify the incident as criminal mischief, and not a hate crime, according to CBS New York.

The perpetrators of the pain tossing “started screaming at us really hateful and racist things,” said Itay Morchi, the co-owner of the venue.

Morchi noted that the use of red blood to denote a Jewish business was evocative of the Nazi era.

“The red paint on the door [is similar] to 1930s Germany, when they threw red paint on Jewish homes to signify blood,” he said.

“This is really a place for love and music and community. There’s no place for this kind of hate.”

Avital expressed his concern regarding the incident’s implications for the future.

“It started with a sign, now the paint. What if it escalates?” Avital asked.

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