Tucson, Arizona Police Investigating After Synagogue Daubed With Swastika and Antisemitic Slur
Tucson, Arizona, police are investigating after the door of a local synagogue was vandalized with a swastika and an antisemitic slur.
The bright-red graffiti was found on Monday morning at the Chabad on River in Tucson, reported COLive.
Tucson police spokesperson Officer Frank Magos told The Arizona Republic that the incident occurred between Friday night and Monday morning, and that no suspects had yet been identified.
Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime, according to Tucson mayor Regina Romero, who called it “an absolutely disgusting display of hate and antisemitism.”
“This will not be tolerated in our diverse and welcoming city,” she said on Tuesday. “I ask all Tucsonans to join me in standing up and raising awareness on antisemitism in all of its forms.”
Chabad Tucson Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin told The Algemeiner, “we felt that it was important, not only trying to find who did this, but also using this opportunity to stamp out the notion that such acts are okay.”
Recent antisemitic incidents nationwide, he said, had shown that “some people have gotten the message that it’s okay to verbally or physically harm Jews, harm jewish institutions across the country.”
“And so we made an effort to have public officials come out and clearly state that this behavior is not accepted, will not be accepted, and has no room in our society,” Ceitlin said. “I hope that message resonates and deters others from even thinking of doing such a idiotic thing.”
Those who denounced the vandalism included Arizona Governor Doug Doucey, who on Twitter called it a “despicable and unacceptable act,” and said the state is “doing all we can to make sure the Jewish community and all Arizonans are safe and treated with respect & dignity.”
“Arizona stands with the Jewish community and with Israel. The lessons of the Holocaust are clear — racial intolerance and religious bigotry have no place in our society,” he said.
US Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) tweeted, “Our hearts are with the congregation of Chabad on River today in the wake of this horrible vandalism. We must stand strong against antisemitism and with our Jewish brothers and sisters. Hate has no place in our community.”
Ceitlin called the incident “premeditated,” noting that the perpetrator had apparently come prepared with a tool to cut through a fence behind the building.
“Someone planned this,” he said. “We’re grateful that no people were harmed, and we just don’t want to imagine what would have happened if one of our community members were there at the time and encountered this person.”