The conflict in Gaza is flaring up in Bay Ridge.
As battles raged on Tuesday, Jan. 6, an anti-Israeli computer hacker altered the Web site of the Bay Ridge Jewish Center so that visitors were greeted with this message: “Death to Israel.”
A hacker using the name EL_MuHAMMeD FOR PALESTINE replaced the temple’s Web site with a black page covered with poorly spelled diatribes against Israel, gory war photos, and the declaration: “For Palestine For Gazza (sic) For Hamas.”
“It’s very disturbing and it’s intrusive — we’re really upset,” said Herb Karasik, the congregation president.
The hacker’s work was removed by Wednesday afternoon.
“If you think about it, we’re an obscure little synagogue in a corner of Brooklyn,” added Karasik. “It’s just to annoy us, to make us feel violated.”
Police say that despite the violent declarations, Bay Ridge is safe.
“It’s being investigated, but it doesn’t look like there is a real threat to the community at this time,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, who noted that the hacker infiltrated the Web site from overseas.
A local Islamic leader was quick to condemn the hacker.
“We have kept a very good relationship with the Jewish Center,” said Wael Mosfar, president of Bay Ridge’s Arab Muslim American Federation. “We do not encourage this kind of behavior, and we do not stand for it.”