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May 23, 2016 9:56 pm

Rhode Island TV Reporter Laments Antisemitic Comments About Station’s Broadcast of Swastika Graffiti Found at Rhode Island Jewish Studies Center

avatar by Ruthie Blum

The Pawtucket Kollel Center for Jewish Studies, which was the target of antisemitic graffiti. Photo: WPRI's Facebook page.

The Pawtucket Kollel Center for Jewish Studies, which was the target of antisemitic graffiti. Photo: WPRI’s Facebook page.

A social media post on the page of a Rhode Island TV station that reported on a swastika spray-painted at a Pawtucket synagogue was inundated with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish comments, one of the station’s reporters lamented on Twitter.

“Distressed to see our story about anti-semitism at a local synagogue is spurring anti-semitic comments on our Facebook page,” Steph Machado, a reporter for WPRI12, covering Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, tweeted on Sunday.

The report in question, was about a red swastika found on the sign of the Kollel Center for Jewish Studies, outside the only synagogue in Pawtucket.

According to the report, the president of the Orthodox congregation, David Pliskin, said worshipers include second-generation Holocaust survivors, who are particularly sensitive to Nazi symbols. “This is the kind of thing that makes your whole body roil inside if you’re a Jew,” he said. “It’s like someone trying to stab you in the heart again.”

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As local and state leaders condemned the incident and Pawtucket Police opened an investigation into the vandalism — which Pliskin called a “hate crime” – a troll was hounding the WPRI post with numerous hate-filled comments. These received responses from other Facebook users, appalled both by the vandalism and by the subsequent smear campaign by Nuno Miguel blaming Israel for antisemitism.

Among his comments is a photo of anti-Israel ultra-Orthodox Jews holding signs reading: “Judaism rejects the Zionist state and condemns its war crimes,” and “Torah demands all Palestine be returned to Palestinian sovereignty.”

“Real Jews,” Miguel wrote, with arrows pointing at the picture.

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