April 1, 2020

Arizona Chabad Construction Site Vandalized with Swastikas

Screenshot from Twitter.

A Chabad building that is under construction in Flagstaff, Ariz. was found with swastikas spray-painted and carved on it.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the Chabad of Flagstaff’s Molly Blank Center’s construction site was broken into sometime between March 22 and 25; the perpetrators then painted swastikas on the windows and carved the symbols on the walls.

The perpetrators also knocked over cans of black paint onto the floor, damaged various power tools and placed plaster mud over some windows; authorities estimate the vandals caused more than $1,000 in property damage.

Chabad Rabbi Dovie Shapiro and his wife Chaya said on the Chabad’s website, “This incident is a sad reminder of the discrimination and anti-Semitism that still exists among some people. While it’s alarming and very disturbing, it will not deter us – to the contrary this reinforces and motivates us more to do the important work we’re doing and continue teaching about unity and acceptance.”

“We look forward to the day, G‑d willing — not too far in the future — when construction will be complete, and we will open the doors of the new Molly Blank Jewish Community Center to be a welcoming place for all,” they added.

Rabbi Shapiro told the Daily Sun that it was a “shock” to see the anti-Semitic vandalism given the organization had never experienced anti-Semitism in Flagstaff before. The best way to fight against such hate, Shapiro said, was “love.”

“We are so used to loving for something in return, giving for something in return,” Shapiro said. “If we can just love for no reason whatsoever, that’s how you combat the forces of hate in the world.”

Police are classifying the incident as a hate crime. The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $2,000 reward for any information on the perpetrators.