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Family of Hanukkah attack victim: 'Stand up and stop this hatred' (CBS News)

Family of Hanukkah attack victim: ‘Stand up and stop this hatred’

The family of a great-grandfather stabbed multiple times during a Hanukkah attack at the home of a New York rabbi spoke out Thursday morning, calling for an end to hatred. The family released a graphic photo of Josef Neumann Wednesday showing the severe injuries he sustained in the knife attack Saturday at the home where dozens of congregants had gathered to celebrate the seventh night of Hanukkah.

Grafton Thomas, 37, is facing charges of attempted murder and burglary as well as federal hate crime charges in the attack that wounded five, including Neumann.

WARNING: Image below may be disturbing to some viewers

Speaking to reporters, Neumann’s daughter Nicky Kohen made an emotional appeal for a stop to hatred against anyone of any religion, race or orientation. The attack in Monsey, about 30 miles north of New York City, came amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area.

“It has to stop,” Kohen said. “You guys, I’m begging you if you are watching this, please stand up and stop this hatred, it cannot keep going on.”

Kohen said Neumann was stabbed repeatedly and has remained unconscious since the attack. He has a fractured skull and a shattered arm, and sustained a slice wound through his neck, Kohen said. An earlier statement released by the family said the knife penetrated his brain.

Neumann’s “prognosis is not good,” Kohen said, and doctors “do not have high hopes for him.”

“If he wakes up, he may never be able to walk, or talk, or even process speech again,” Kohen said.

She said Neumann is currently in surgery so doctors can insert a tracheostomy tube to help with breathing. She said it was a difficult decision for the family to release the photo showing Neumann’s injuries, but that they wanted people to understand “how severe this attack was.”

Kohen said the family remains hopeful despite the dire prognosis.

Author: ERIN DONAGHUE, CBS News
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