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February 21, 2017 10:36 am

Vandals Damage Jewish Cemetery in Missouri

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Headstones at a Jewish cemetery. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Headstones at a Jewish cemetery. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. — A Jewish cemetery in Missouri was vandalized Monday, with some 100 headstones damaged.

The incident at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society is being investigated by police.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens wrote on Twitter: “Disgusted to hear about the senseless act of desecration at the cemetery in University City. We must fight acts of intolerance and hate.”

The episode occurred the same day that 11 Jewish community centers (JCCs) received bomb threats, in the fourth wave of such harassment since early January. According to the JCC Association of North America, 54 centers in 27 states have received these threats.

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“I’ve been in the business for 20-plus years, and this is unprecedented,” said Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network, CNN reported. “It’s more methodical than meets the eye.”

The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said they are “investigating possible civil rights violations” in connection with the continuous harassment of JCCs.

Following the most recent spate of fake bomb threats, Ivanka Trump — the president’s Jewish daughter — tweeted, “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship and religious centers.”

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of being criticized for failing to respond to the ongoing rise in antisemitism across the United States, President Donald Trump told NBC Tuesday morning, “I will tell you that antisemitism is horrible and it’s going to stop, and it has to stop.”

Israeli leaders have also voiced their concern over the vandalism and bomb threats, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett calling the incidents “an assault” against the American Jewish community.

“We are confident the authorities will do everything in their power to apprehend those responsible for these horrific acts and continue to fight any display of antisemitism,” Bennett said.

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