Jewish Family Attacked At Brooklyn School Graduation Amid Shouts Of ‘Death to Israel!’

A Jewish family was allegedly attacked during a fifth-grade graduation ceremony at PS 682, The Academy of Talented Scholars in South Brooklyn, amid chants of “Death to Israel!” The incident, which took place last week, has sparked outrage and calls for a thorough investigation.

Lana, a Jewish mother of two students at the school, recounted the violent episode that left her Catholic husband, Johan, hospitalized. Speaking to the New York Post, Lana described how what was supposed to be a joyful event turned traumatic when tensions flared over a student’s political expression.

The conflict began when a student crossed the stage waving a Palestinian flag with a “Free Palestine” message on his cap. Lana’s mother walked out in protest. Later, as Lana attempted to take pictures with her family in front of the school banner, an argument erupted with the boy’s family.

“We told them there was space for both families. An older man turned to us and said ‘Free Palestine!’ for no reason,” Lana said. Her husband, Johan, tried to de-escalate the situation but was met with hostility. “The man cursed at him in Arabic, and shouted, ‘Free Palestine, Gaza is Ours, Death to Israel,’” Lana reported.

Johan described the attack, saying, “As I argued with that man, another just came out of nowhere, punched me in the head, and it was a scuffle.” He recalled being overwhelmed by multiple people, put in a chokehold, and held down. Their 16-year-old son was also punched in the face while trying to help. Lana herself was assaulted by a woman who pulled her hair and knocked her to the ground, threatening to kill her.

Johan was taken to Maimonides Medical Center for treatment. The NYPD arrested Ez-Al Dean Bazar, 26, in connection with the incident. Initially not considered a hate crime, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is now investigating.

City educator Tova Plaut warned, “We consistently warned that tolerating overtly antisemitic views would create a toxic environment for Jewish students and families, inevitably leading to physical violence. This has now occurred.”

PS 682 is located in District 20, which includes Bay Ridge, an area known for large pro-Hamas protests that often result in clashes with police.

A Department of Education spokesman, Nathaniel Styer, commented, “Graduations should be times of celebration and joy, and we strongly denounce anyone who acts in a violent or aggressive way during such events.” He noted that initial reports indicated aggressive behavior from both families but stressed that the investigation is ongoing.

This incident highlights the rising tensions and need for increased efforts to ensure safety and mutual respect within diverse communities. The investigation continues as officials seek to address the underlying causes of such conflicts.