Synagogue Defaced With Holocaust Denial Graffiti As Nationalists Remain Emboldened By Trump (VIDEO)
This synagogue is the latest to be targeted
A Seattle synagogue was attacked by nationalist vandals early Friday, becoming the most recent victim in a string of attacks across the country.
“It was just horrifically disturbing that kind of encompassed all classic anti-Semitic tropes of Holocaust denial and of Jewish affinity for money,” he said. “It was immensely troubling and immensely disturbing and shocking to me and to our community”
The vandals turned the S’s into dollar signs, CNN reports.
In a statement, Seattle police say an off-duty police officer found the message on the wall of the temple’s old sanctuary and alerted staff.
The disgusting graffiti prompted U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who represents Washington’s 7th District, including Seattle, to excoriate the vandalism in a statement.
I condemn the anti-Semitic vandalism against Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle in the strongest possible terms. pic.twitter.com/L84ddxNCSn
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) March 10, 2017
Governor Jay Inslee also condemned the vandalism in a statement:
“It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to condemn any and all acts of hate and intolerance.”
Earlier Friday, staff at a Las Vegas Jewish Community Center (JCC) reported receiving “suspicious communications” said the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. This prompted officials to evacuate the area and investigate the area, which was later found to be safe. And police in Tucson, Arizona were investigating the second threat sent within two weeks to a JCC. That threat turned out to be a bomb threat sent via email, said police spokesman Sgt. Pete Dugan.
Unfortunately this vandalism doesn’t come as a surprise, Weiner said, since attacks around the country are on the rise.
The Rabbi announced the message “with a heavy heart and troubled soul” on the Synagogue’s Facebook page.
Typically, Jewish Community Centers are places where Jews and non-Jews can mingle and participate in social activities, CNN notes.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been at least 152 bomb threats against Jewish institutions, the Anti-Defamation League reports. The agency is keeping an up-to-date map of the incidents, which it says have occurred in six waves since January.
“This is the first time in the 60-plus years of our organization we have had a bomb threat called in. And now we’ve had three bomb threats called in this year, said one Jewish Community Center CEO, who requested anonymity so that the center wouldn’t be further targeted.
Sadly, Jewish cemeteries are also being targeted, with scores of tombstones inside cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis being found toppled over.
It has taken tremendous public pressure for President Donald Trump to reluctantly speak out on the outbreaks of anti-Semitism, as Mother Jones noted. But he finally had to acknowledge the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents which have surged since he took office:
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said in a February visit to the National Museum of African-American history.
But the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect found Trump’s comments, well, lacking, characterizing Trump’s remarks as little more than a “Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism.”
“When President Trump responds to anti-Semitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner,” the center said in a statement. “This is not that moment.”
That statement resulted in criticism from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who said he wished the organization would praise Trump for his leadership.
To which the center responded on social media:
— AnneFrankCenter(US) (@AnneFrankCenter) February 21, 2017
And some, like Rabbi Weiner, say these hateful attacks won’t define them. The temple has taken precautions to step up security in order to keep the community safer, he noted on the temple’s Facebook page.
“And as we take all of these precautions, we are also adamant in our conviction that we will not allow the toxicity of intolerance and growing climate of hate to define who we are, how we live, and what our nation can be,” he wrote.
“We take courage from the upcoming celebration of Purim and its story in the Book of Esther, as our people triumphed over the evil plans of those who seek to diminish and destroy us, and as we stand shoulder to shoulder with all who are vulnerable and in need, placing our faith in God to inspire us to perfect a broken world.”
May the shriveled hearts and minds who would hate, buoyed by the rise of Donald Trump, continue to shrink. Until, perhaps, they disappear.
You can find out more about the disgusting attack on the Temple De Hirsch Sinai in the video below.
Featured image: 2017 – A Synagogue is defaced with holocaust denial graffiti as the Presidency of Donald Trump emboldens nationalists and other racists. Screenshot, video, KOMO. 1945: FILE PHOTO: An inmate breaks out in tears as he finds out he is not leaving with the first group to the hospital May 4, 1945 after the U.S. liberation troops entered the concentration camp at Wobbelin in Germany. Many inmates were found in pitiful condition. (Courtesy of the National Archives/Newsmakers).