April 1, 2020

Swastikas Found on Nebraska Synagogue

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

A pair of swastikas were found on a synagogue in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 15.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that one swastika was painted on South Street Temple’s steps and the other was painted on the synagogue’s door. The words “black shirt” also were  painted on the door; black shirts were the uniforms that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party wore.

StandWithUs tweeted out footage of the suspect:

Lincoln Police Officer Erin Spilker told ABC8 that it’s “obviously alarming for this kind of thing to be on a synagogue and we take this very seriously and it will be investigated as a hate crime.”

She urged community residents to keep an eye on similar graffiti in the area, although the police currently think the graffiti on South Street Temple was an outlier incident.

Elected officials condemned the graffiti.

“I condemn anti-Semitism in the strongest possible terms, and encourage Nebraskans from all backgrounds to do the same,” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, said in a Facebook post. “The Jewish community has been a vital part of our state for generations.”

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) similarly said in a statement, “I was saddened to hear about this act of vandalism at South Street Temple in Lincoln, and I encourage anyone with information to reach out to Lincoln Police Department. Hate and anti-Semitism have no place in Nebraska or anywhere in this country.”

I was saddened to hear about this act of vandalism at South Street Temple in Lincoln, and I encourage anyone with…

Posted by Senator Deb Fischer on Thursday, January 16, 2020

Anti-Defamation League Plain States Regional Director Gary Nachman also denounced the graffiti in a statement to the World-Herald.

“This cowardly behavior, which only seeks to instill fear in our community, will not deter Jews or any other religious group from practicing our constitutional right of religious expression and freedom,” he said.