Swastika Spray Painted Near Home of Jewish Activists in New City

A swastika was found spray-painted Monday in a New York suburb, near the home of a Jewish activist whose parents survived the Holocaust.

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Rachel Hirshfeld ,

Israel News photo: Flash 90

A swastika was found spray-painted Monday in New City, New York, near the home of a prominent Jewish activist whose parents survived the Holocaust, The Rockland Journal News reported.

Residents immediately brought the blue-painted swastika, found off of Congers Road, to the attention of the Clarkstown police, who are investigating the situation.

Steve Gold, a resident of the area for 19 years, said seeing the Nazi symbol sent chills through his body.

Gold, whose parents survived the Holocaust, and his wife, Helene, are being honored this month by the Rockland Holocaust Museum and Study Center in Spring Valley.

“When I saw it, I felt like I got a stake in my heart,” Gold said, according to The Journal News. “I haven’t stopped shaking. I am a big advocate of 'we should never forget.' I am always talking about it. This is too close to home.”

Gold played a key role in the Rockland JCC’s worldwide campaign to pressure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honor the 11 Israelis who were slain at the 1972 Munich games with a moment of silence at this year’s Games in London.

Gold said a neighbor noticed the swastika on Monday at 7:30 a.m. 

“I hope that if they find who did this, they did it just to irritate people rather than out of real hate and targeting people in the Jewish community,” he said. “We’re all a little concerned.”

Rep. Nita Lowey, a Democrat whose redrawn district includes Rockland and parts of Westchester, called the spraying-painting religious “hate speech” that will not be tolerated by the community.

“I am outraged by anti-Semitic vandalism in New City near the home of a prominent member of the Jewish community whose parents survived the Holocaust,” Lowey said in a statement. “This shocking act is another reminder that even in the most diverse and educated areas of the country, the scourge of intolerance and anti-Semitism must be erased.”

State Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, also condemned the incident, which came during the holiday of Sukkot and just days after Yom Kippur.

“Hatred and vandalism cannot go unpunished by those who seek to instill fear in our community,” Carlucci said, according to the local newspaper. “Those who perpetrated these acts must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”