Headstones Toppled at N.Y. Jewish Cemetery, Manager Hesitant to Label It a Hate Crime

'I don’t want to label it anti-Semitism, I don’t think there’s any proof of that,' cemetery manager says, but ADL chief ties incident to two other cases of cemetery vandalism.

Headstones were toppled at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, also known as the Stone Road Cemetery, in Rochester, N.Y.
JTA / Courtesy of News 10 NBC WHEC

 A Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York, was vandalized overnight on Thursday, the third such incident in the United States in less than two weeks, but the nonprofit managing the site said there's no proof the incident was a hate crime.

At least a dozen headstones were found toppled Thursday morning at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, also known as the Stone Road Cemetery, in the city in western New York, according to The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

The president of the nonprofit managing the cemetery said he did not want to call the incident a hate crime or anti-Semitism.

“I don’t want to label it a hate crime. I don’t think there’s any proof of that. I don’t want to label it anti-Semitism. I don’t think there’s any proof of that,” said Michael Phillips, president of the Britton Road Association, according to The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Police were awaiting notice from the cemetery before commencing an investigation, News 10 NBC WHEC reported.

The last two weeks saw vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, as well as two more waves of bomb threats called into Jewish community centers, schools and institutions across the country, representing the fourth and fifth waves of such harassment this year.

Anti-Defamation League President Jonathan Greenblatt tied the Rochester incident to the previous cases of vandalism, urging Trump on Twitter to take action.