Saturday, 25 March, 2017

Up to 100 gravestones vandalized at Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia

Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia where nearly 100 headstones were found vandalized Sunday morning Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia where nearly 100 headstones were found vandalized Sunday morning. Screenshot Google Maps
Craig Ferguson | 02 March, 2017, 00:08

In Philadelphia, meanwhile, police are investigating after hundreds of headstones were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery during the weekend.

Police arrived at Mount Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section of the city on Sunday morning to find someone saying three of their relatives' headstones were damaged, according to the Philadelphia police department.

"This is part of the Jewish resistance", Ari Lev Fornari, a rabbi at the Kol Tzedek Synagogue in Philadelphia, said in a video taken at the cemetery and posted on Facebook.

Dozens of tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia were discovered toppled and damaged, according to media reports.

"My heart breaks for the families who found their loved ones' headstones toppled", Kenney said in a statement.

"The President continues to condemn these and other forms of anti-semitic and hateful acts", Spicer said.

Vandalized tombstones are seen at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery, Feb. 26, in Philadelphia. Among those, the group highlighted 57 incidents in 24 states of anonymous bomb threats being called in to Jewish Community Centers. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is also deciding whether hate crime charges will be filed as investigators work to determine the motive for the vandalism.

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John Dougherty of the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council calls the vandalism a "cowardly act of anti-Semitism that can not be tolerated".

After remaining silent on the subject for several days, President Donald Trump on Tuesday decried the anti-Semitic threats against Jewish community centers across America as "horrible" and "painful". A local Fraternal Order of Police lodge is also chipping in $3,000 as a reward.

Lauder has condemned the desecration of the cemetery in Philadelphia as a "despicable and cowardly act of hatred" and urged citizens and local authorities across the United States to be vigilant against all signs of anti-Semitism. "The Catholic Church stands in love with the Jewish community in the current face of anti-Semitism".

In a statement on February 24, the chairman of the usa bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, expressed solidarity and support for the Jewish community and also called for the rejection of such hateful actions.

Tarek El-Messidi, along with Linda Sarsour, started the LaunchGood.com campaign, titled "Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery", on February 21, after more than 170 gravestones were found to have been toppled outside St. Louis.

"On behalf of the Bishops and people of the Catholic Church, as the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, I want to express our deep sympathy, solidarity, and support to our Jewish brothers and sisters", said Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanksi of Springfield in a press release.

Cuomo last week announced a $25 million grant program "to boost safety and security at New York's schools and day care centers at risk of hate crimes or attacks due to their ideology, beliefs or mission".

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