Officials gather to condemn anti-Semitic graffiti

October 28, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Officials gather to condemn anti-Semitic graffiti
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Elected officials came to the defense of a Gravesend juice store Thursday after it was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.

According to authorities, the store’s owner, a 51-year-old woman, filed a complaint of criminal mischief at 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27. She said an unknown person wrote, “SYRIAN JEW Wh***S F**K YOU” outside the store at 422 Ave. P.

Police do not have a suspect. The Hate Crime Task Force has been notified and the investigation is ongoing.

“We are here because yesterday, this store owner went to open up her place of business and saw vile, disgusting, despicable, anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “As if trying to keep a small business afloat in the most challenging times was not enough of a stress and a headache, she had to come to her place of business and see absolutely disgusting graffiti targeting Jewish people.”

Gounardes said that in 2019, the Anti-Defamation League found that anti-Semitic incidents had hit an all-time high.

The vandalism was discovered on the two-year anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“We are here to condemn this vile, hateful act and rhetoric that we have tragically seen on the rise over the last few weeks, months and years targeting the Jewish community,”  Gounardes said. “Blaming them for something that is not their fault. Singling them out and pointing a finger at them and saying it’s because of you unleashes a hate that puts store owners and other community members in harm’s way and has them living in fear.”

U.S. Rep. Max Rose said such crimes have no place in New York.

“All of our families fled exactly this to come to New York because it was a shining beacon of hope of diversity and acceptance,” Rose said. “Today, we openly pronounce that this will not stand. Not today or ever. We do not care if you are Democrat, Republican or independent. If you target communities, if you are suddenly anti-Semitic, today we stand to say you are wrong and we oppose you 100 percent.”

Rose also called for increased funding for President Donald Trump’s anti-Semitism executive order.

“Anybody who commits these offenses should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

“I’m disgusted that our beautiful community would be targeted with this vicious act,” said Councilmember Kalman Yeger. “Anti-Semitism is not a new disease, but it is so clear that it is spreading, in no small part due to the harsh and dangerous light being shined on our community by the highest levels of government.”

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