New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) held a press conference Sunday morning to discuss the desecration of the Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, where dozens of headstones were found to have been overturned Saturday.

The Washington Cemetery is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world.

“More than 40 headstones were overturned,” said Hikind. “It’s heartbreaking—not just to the loved ones of those who are buried here, but to all of us. Is there anything more cowardly than desecrating a cemetery in the middle of the night?

Vandalized tombstones
Vandalized tombstonesOffice of Dov Hikind

“Anti-Semitism exists, but we don’t have to tolerate it, and we won’t. I can promise you that. I met with the police this morning at the cemetery, the top brass from Brooklyn South, and I see that this matter is being taken very seriously. When the criminals who did this are caught, we will demand and expect real justice.”

Hikind made contact with the police as soon as he learned of the desecration Saturday night to ensure that the incident was being fully investigated. Members of his staff also met with police and members of the local Shomrim contingent.

The Washington Cemetery is the fourth Jewish cemetery in the US to be vandalized in recent weeks. Hundreds of headstones have been overturned in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Rochester, New York.