Congregation Beth Israel — a synagogue in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles was vandalized on May 30 with graffiti stating “free Palestine” and “f— Israel.”
Lisa Daftari, founder and editor of the foreign policy news outlet The Foreign Desk, first reported on the graffiti on social media.
“Synagogue Congregation Beth El (sic) on Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles vandalized… Tell me this ugly hatred is still about #BLM or #GeorgeFloyd?!” she tweeted.
— Lisa Daftari (@LisaDaftari) May 31, 2020
Jewish groups condemned the graffiti.
“Vandalism is never ok,” Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles tweeted. “Anti-Semitism is never ok. The answer to hate and bigotry is not more hate. We are better than this Los Angeles.”
Vandalism is never ok. Antisemitism is never ok. The answer to hate and bigotry is not more hate. We are better than this Los Angeles. https://t.co/3ermS6nsva
— ADL Los Angeles (@LA_ADL) May 31, 2020
American Jewish Committee Los Angeles Regional Director Richard S. Hirschhaut said in a statement to the Journal, “It is deplorable that certain protestors in Los Angeles today resorted to violence and vandalism. Sadly, their destructive opportunism included the defacing of Congregation Beth Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in Los Angeles and the spiritual home to many Holocaust survivors over the years. The epithets scrawled on the synagogue wall do nothing to advance the cause of peace or justice, here or abroad.”
Liora Rez, director of the Stop Anti-Semitism watchdog, said in a statement to the Journal, “Once again we see vile anti-Semitism being disguised as activism. To vandalize a synagogue during this horrific time does nothing but further divide a broken country.”
The graffiti comes as protests continue in Los Angeles and throughout the country since George Floyd, 46, died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer, who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Gacetti announced a curfew for the city of Los Angeles on May 30 from 8 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. on May 31.
“With liberty comes responsibility, to be able to peacefully protest,” Garcetti said. “We cannot, though, protect our ability to protect life when we see people are looting. We cannot protect our ability to protect life when we see fires set in dense urban areas that not only endanger firefighters, but could put buildings or residents up in flames. And we’ve seen this before in Los Angeles. When the violence escalates, no one wins.”