Pennsylvania Governor Denounces Antisemitic Vandalism

( – On Sunday March 31, Democrat Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro took to the social media platform X to express his frustration with the current rash of antisemitic vandalism that has been taking place in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Both incidents happened at a Jewish temple in Wynnewood. The temple had a banner proclaiming “Our Community Stands with Israel” which was defaced and when they replaced it with a new banner, it was then spray-painted by the unknown vandals with a red swastika.

The Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El has released a public statement condemning the antisemitic vandalism of their synagogue. The leadership has indicated that they are working with the police to find whoever is responsible, but they also expressed gratitude for the neighbors of various faiths who have reached out to them to offer support. Further they say they are happy to live somewhere where hate speech is not tolerated and proclaim they will not be giving in to fear or division.

There has been a rise in antisemitic vandalism, rhetoric and attacks since the attack on a peaceful concert by the terrorist group, Hamas, on October 7. There have been pro-Palestine events that devolved into trapping Jewish students in a college library while protestors pounded on the doors, there was a physical attack on an elderly Jewish couple outside a synagogue in Beverly Hills, and several prominent universities have been embroiled in convoluted battles about what constitutes free speech or hate speech because of open calls for violence towards Jewish people on campus.

Governor Shapiro made a point to state that in Pennsylvania it does not matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter who you love, and it does not matter who you do and don’t pray to, “you belong here”. Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky indicated that while the vandalism is a terrible thing, it would be far worse to live in a society where such things could happen and go unremarked. He says the support of the larger community has meant the world to him and his congregation.

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