By Kendall Tietz
An Arizona synagogue was vandalized with graffiti depicting a swastika and an anti-Semitic slur, COLlive reported Tuesday.
Rabbi Rami Bigelman of the Chabad on River synagogue found the graffiti before beginning a Torah class, COLlive reported. He told the outlet that “we are obviously devastated by this.”
Tucson mayor Regina Romero said her office has confirmed with the Tucson Police Department that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime and that a suspect has not been identified. “There is no place for antisemitic hate crimes in our community,” the Tucson Police Department wrote in a statement, according to COLlive.
Amid increasing clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, there has been a rising number of anti-Semitic attacks. Reports filed with the Anti-Defamation League of possible anti-Semitic incidents reached 193, up from 131 the week before. (RELATED: Florida Holocaust Museum Vandalized with Anti-Semitic Message, Swastika)
“We are tracking acts of harassment, vandalism and violence as well as a torrent of online abuse,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “It’s happening around the world — from London to Los Angeles, from France to Florida, in big cities like New York and in small towns, and across every social media platform.”
Democratic Arizona Rep. Alma Hernandez, who is Jewish, shared the photo on Twitter. She said it was sad to wake up to the news, but that it wasn’t shocking.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was among the leaders who condemned the graffiti on social media and other anti-Semitic behavior. He said Arizona stands with those of Jewish faith and that those responsible must be held accountable.
As a result of the increase in hate crimes and anti-Semitic actions, President Joe Biden issued a statement on May 28 denouncing such acts.
“These attacks are despicable, unconscionable, un-American, and they must stop,” Biden said in a statement. “I will not allow our fellow Americans to be intimidated or attacked because of who they are or the faith they practice.”
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