Another Jewish Cemetery Has Been Vandalized

February 26th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Vandals toppled dozens of headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia in yet another act of apparent anti-Semitism that has put the local community on edge.

New Jersey man Aaron Mallin discovered the vandalism Sunday when he came to visit his father's grave. He told the local ABC affiliate that he hoped the incident wasn't a hate crime.

"I'm hoping it was maybe just some drunk kids. But the fact that there's so many, it leads one to think it could have been targeted," Mallin said.

Officials have not yet determined a motive in the case.

The incident follows another high-profile desecration of a Jewish cemetery last week in Missouri.

Vandals overturned nearly 200 headstones there. Tarek El-Messidi, a Muslim man in Philadelphia, helped raise $120,000 to repair the Missouri resting place in an act of solidarity with the Jewish community.

Police there have yet to say whether they consider the Missouri incident a hate crime.

But observers note that the vandalism incidents are taking place amid a well-documented escalation in anti-Semitic acts, which ATTN: has covered.

Nearly 70 bomb threats have been called into Jewish community centers recently.

President Donald Trump has called some of the anti-Semitic acts "horrible" and "painful," but the White House has generally remained silent about the rise of anti-Semitism in the country.

The increase in anti-Semitism coincides with the rise of so-called "alt-right" white supremacist and white nationalist groups, which have been emboldened by Trump's election.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia has begun raising money to restore the nearly 100 headstones overturned in that city.