Anti-Semitic Graffiti Sprayed on California Synagogue Days After Pittsburgh Shooting

Police have increased their presence around all Jewish facilities throughout Irvine in Orange County

Anti-Semitic graffiti is written on the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine on October 31, 2018.
AFP

A California synagogue was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, including the words "Fuck Jews," police reported on Wednesday. The incident comes days after 11 people were killed when a shooter opened fire on the Tree of Life synagogue.

Allen Berezovsky, president of the board at Beth Jacob synagogue in Irvine, south of Los Angeles, said staff discovered the anti-Semitic graffiti early Wednesday morning, AFP reported.

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He said that "Fuck Jews" and "Jews" graffiti were found on the white facade of Beth Jacob synagogue.

Anti-Semitic incident in Irvine, California.

Security footage showed an individual wearing a hoodie, sunglasses and a surgical facemask jumping over the fence of the building around 1.18 A.M., Berezovsky said.

"The Irvine Police Department and our own security have done a full sweep of the entire facility and nothing was found other than the graffiti," he said in a statement to his congregation.

"We are continuing to do everything we can to make our campus more secure, and we will continue to promote the message that we are stronger than hate," he said.

Police spokeswoman Kim Mohr said the suspect has not been identified and police increased their presence around all Jewish facilities throughout the city, located in Orange County.

"This is an unusual attack," she told AFP. "It is not a normal thing to have this type of crime in Irvine."

Republican congresswoman Mimi Walters took to Twitter where she condemned the anti-Semitic incident.

"I am deeply troubled by the anti-Semitic vandalism at Beth Jacob Synagogue in Irvine. I strongly condemn these actions of hate and terror & stand with our Jewish community both in Orange County & throughout the country. Those responsible must be brought to justice immediately," she wrote.

Last week, the Anti-Defamation League released a report saying that far-right extremists have ramped up a wave of anti-Semitic harassment against Jewish journalists, political candidates and others ahead of next month's U.S. midterm elections. 

In the report, researchers analyzed more than 7.5 million Twitter messages from August 31 to September 17 and found nearly 30 percent of the accounts repeatedly tweeting derogatory terms about Jews appeared to be automated "bots."

The ADL's study, reported the Associated Press, concludes online disinformation and abuse is disproportionately targeting Jews in the U.S. "during this crucial political moment."