New York Police Seeking Help Identifying Man Who Said ‘Kanye 2024’ During Antisemitic Attack

New York police are still searching for the person who assaulted a 63-year-old man in Central Park last week in what officials described as an antisemitic attack. According to NBC News, the incident took place last Wednesday evening when the as-yet-unidentified male assailant allegedly hit the elderly victim in the back of the head after making antisemitic remarks while saying “Kanye 2024.”


The latter appeared to be a reference to the reported second long-shot White House bid by disgraced rapper Kanye West (who now goes by Ye), who has gained attention in the past few months for a string of interviews with right-leaning media outlets in which he made a series of antisemitic remarks while repeatedly proclaiming to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones: “I like Hitler.” Last week, West was named “Antisemite of the Year” by the watchdog group StopAntisemitism.

NBC reported that the alleged attacker — described as a man of medium build in his 50s with a light complexion — fled on a bike after the assault, which left the 63-year-old victim with a chipped tooth and a broken hand; the person of interest in the case had a bike with a trailer featured a sign that read “Hungry Disabled.”

“Crimes like these have a ripple effect across communities and cause unique trauma on top of physical harm,” Scott Richman, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of New York/New Jersey, told CNN. While the attack appeared random, Richman told CNN that it was an example of how Ye’s antisemitic rhetoric has “perpetuated violence and incited others to act out.” Richman added, “When public figures with huge platforms fan the flames of antisemitism, people will copy it and begin to think it’s normal.”

Councilman Eric Dinowitz, who chairs New York city council’s Jewish Caucus, agreed, telling CNN, “I am deeply disturbed by this vile, yet predictable antisemitic attack in Central Park. Anti-Jewish attacks are rising at an alarming rate, fueled by hateful rhetoric and willful ignorance. These attacks on Jewish New Yorkers are not isolated incidents, but a pattern of attacks on an entire people.”

The Anti-Defamation League reported that antisemitic attacks reached an all-time high in the U.S. in 2021, with figures up 34% from 2020. Over the past several months there have been a series of incidents in which others have seemingly expressed solidarity with Ye’s repetition of anti-Jewish tropes and stereogypes, including unknown persons who hung a “Kanye is right about the Jews” banner over the 405 Los Angeles freeway in October while making the “Heil Hitler” salute; the same message was displayed on the outside of TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL a few days later.

Gil Kaufman