Pennsylvania Governor Vows to Find Perpetrators of Philadelphia Jewish Cemetery Desecration

'This is not who we are as Americans or Pennsylvanians. We will not take these threats and acts lightly,' Governor Tom Wolf says.

Headstones broken and toppled over at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia, February 26, 2016.
Michael Bryant / Staff photographer, Philadelphia Inquirer

In the wake of the discovery of damage done to hundreds of headstones in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia over the weekend, Pennsylvania's governor vowed to find those responsible for the act and hold them accountable.

"This is not who we are as Americans or Pennsylvanians," governor Tom Wolf said in a statement. "We will not take these threats and acts lightly and I have asked the Pennsylvania State Police and Office of Homeland Security to offer their full resources towards protecting these institutions and finding those responsible,” the statement read.

Governor Wolf made reference not only to the desecration of the Philadelphia cemetery, but also to bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers in York, Pennsylvania and in Harrisburg, the state capital. Wolf, who is not Jewish, has reportedly been a major benefactor of the JCC in York.

The threats directed at the Pennsvlvania Jewish community centers were part of a nationwide wave of bomb threats directed at JCCs and other Jewish institutions around the United States on Monday.

More generally, over the past 45 days, there have been an estimated 190 incidents targeting Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the United States, including verbal and written threats and vandalism. They include more than 90 bomb threats called in to 73 Jewish institutions in 30 states in five separate waves over the course of six weeks. They also include another case of extensive vandalism to a Jewish cemetery in the St. Louis area. 

Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf speaking at the Democratic Party's convention in Philadelphia on July 28, 2016.
Mike Segar / Reuters