SEATTLE – Holocaust deniers vandalized Temple De Hirsch Sinai in the Pacific Northwest. One of Seattle’s largest synagogues spent Saturday cleaning up hateful graffiti in which suspect(s) denied the reality of the human atrocity. Leaders say it is the first time the house of worship has been the subject of such blatant anti-Semitic attacks.
The disturbing message — “Holocaust is fake history!” with the letter “S” replaced by a dollar sign — comes as Jewish community centers and cemeteries across the country are grappling with a rise in bomb threats and vandalism, reported NBC News.
“There were two things we felt: shock and sadness, and resistance,” Senior Rabbi Daniel Weiner, of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, told NBC News. “We were shocked that this had reached our own community and that such things, such stereotypes had become frequent. But we are also adamant to not give in to the intolerance and growing climate of hate in Seattle and our nation, and will resist.”
Weiner indicated that an off-duty Seattle police officer spotted the inflammatory vandalism walking in the area about 5 a.m. The officer contacted the synagogue and initiated a criminal investigation.
Seattle Police Department has increased patrols. The case has now moved to the department’s bias crimes unit as the search for suspect(s) continue.
In a move worth applauding, Weiner said a neighbor of the temple saw the vandalism and took action. This person rushed to put up a “Love Wins” sign written on a bed sheet to obscure the graffiti. He thanked the neighbor personally, but took the message down.
“We wanted people to confront this reality,” Weiner said.” It is difficult to pinpoint a direct causative link between these crimes and politics, but I know that those who remained silent before are now empowered to lash out at the communities they have an issue with.”
Holocaust deniers hateful vandalism
— Evan Schreiber (@SchreiberEvan) March 12, 2017
The synagogue was founded in 1889. It is one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest with more than 1,500 families. They recently beefed up security amid reported rise in anti-Semitic attacks, but this latest display has made vigilance even more necessary, Weiner said.
“We intend to turn this into something good and not back down from supporting one another in other minority communities,” he added.
(Photo @SchreiberEvan Twitter)