Swastikas were found spray-painted on an abandoned RV in Granada Hills on March 8.
CBS Los Angeles reported that the RV had been sitting on the Granada Hills street for the past six months and was parked the wrong way. Several tickets were put on the RV’s windshield and the license plate tags expired in 2011, yet it has continued to remain on the street despite various members of the neighborhood requesting that the police, Department of Transportation and city council to move it. On the morning of March 8, residents saw the RV was vandalized with “swastikas and hate speech,” CBS Los Angeles reporter Joy Benedict said.
“It’s just horrendous,” one resident told Benedict. “We have kids in the community, we have neighbors of all different ethnicities and cultures, and to see this on our streets… it’s really appalling and upsetting.”
Benedict reported that the neighborhood doesn’t think the RV graffiti was targeting anyone specifically, and some are concerned that the vandalism was conducted simply to get the RV removed. The RV was eventually towed on March 9.
“It’s really sad it had to have this disgusting language on it for anybody to act on something,” the resident told Benedict.
Jewish groups condemned the graffiti.
“As soon as we were contacted by a community member regarding these hateful and antisemitic messages on an abandoned RV in their neighborhood, [the Anti-Defamation League] immediately reached out to our city and county partners to make sure that it was removed as soon as possible,” ADL Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams said in a statement to the Journal. “We condemn the hateful symbols and messages on this vehicle and encourage community members to reach out to ADL, LAPD and city officials if they see anything similar.”
American Jewish Committee Los Angeles Regional Director Richard S. Hirschhaut also said in a statement to the Journal, “It is disturbing that this abandoned RV, long an eyesore in a residential area, has become a target of antisemitic graffiti and crude racial epithets. And it is unfortunate that requests to have the vehicle removed went unanswered for more than six months. Whether or not its defacing with hate symbols was intended to get the attention of public officials, the use of such graphic images reveals an ease with which some resort to weaponizing the indicia of hate. When the RV is finally moved, we trust local authorities will cover the vehicle, lest it become a mobile billboard of hate.”
Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper criticized the City of Los Angeles for failing to remove the RV for several months in a statement to the Journal. “This is a hate attack that should not have happened but the City of Los Angeles failed its citizens, affixing countless tickets but never removing the abandoned vehicle for 6 months,” he said. “Bigots then converted the RV into a billboard of hate. No accountability by the City, no accountability for the bigots. Without leadership and accountability, there’s no reason therefore to believe the hate will disappear on its own anytime soon.”
StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder Roz Rothstein, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, also said in a statement to the Journal, “Hate and ignorance will not intimidate the Jewish community. It brings us together and makes us stronger. Messages like this only serve to remind us that we must be more determined than ever to educate people of all ages about where such dangerous symbols of hate can lead.”