More than 100 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Missouri, sparking a police investigation on the same day that several Jewish community centers across the country received bomb threats Fox News reported late on Monday.
Police were unwilling to say whether they considered the damage done at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery a hate crime, but were investigating the incident and reviewing security-camera footage in the area, according to the report.
”Numerous plots were damaged and [headstones were] pushed over,” Lt. Fredrick Lemons of the University City Police Department told The Huffington Post.
The incident comes after at least 10 Jewish community centers across the country were targeted with bomb threats on Monday. According to local news reports, centers in New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico,Texas and Alabama were targeted on Monday, the fourth such mass disruption in less than two months.
Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt called the incident "another revolting manifestation of anti-Semitism on the same day when we're dealing with bomb threats." He added, "Long overdue for our leaders to lead."
The vandalism in St. Louis and the repeated bomb threats on U.S. Jewish community centers have instilled rising concern of a rise in anti-Semitic incidents that many connect to the campaign and election of Donald Trump as president.
Though avidly denying personal charges of anti-Semitism or any kind of racism, some of Trump's government appointees are recognized by many as white supremacists and even influenced by 1930s fascist writers.
Trump has also faced criticism for purposefully refusing to mention Jews or anti-Semitism in a statement released on International Holocaust Rembrance Day and for refusing to personally address the wave of bomb threats at JCCs.
The president's daughter Ivanka, however, took to Twitter to condemn the latest threats targeting the JCCs and White House spokesperson Sean Spicer also released a statement saying that Trump had "made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable."
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