Arizona police investigating hate symbols at local synagogue

Police investigating after what appears to be swastikas found painted at Chabad of Flagstaff.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Swastikas (illustration)
Swastikas (illustration)
Flash 90

Police in the city of Flagstaff, Arizona, are investigating what they say appear to be hate symbols at a synagogue, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Officers responded to the Chabad of Flagstaff on Monday and found multiple rooms damaged, according to the report.

Police said paint smeared on windows and carvings in a wall appeared to be swastikas. The symbols were not well-defined in photos released by the Flagstaff Police Department.

The damage is believed to have occurred sometime between Friday and Monday when a construction crew working at the site was off-duty.

Police spokesman Sgt. Charles Hernandez said officers have collected fingerprints, biological evidence and video footage to try to determine who is responsible. He estimated the damage is at least $1,000.

The synagogue’s rabbi, Rabbi Dovie Shapiro, said the Jewish community is shocked and disturbed by what he called an act of hate.

“With the shock that comes with it is the resolve that it brings,” said Rabbi Shapiro, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

“This is not going to deter us, it’s only going to make us stronger and bring the community together even more. This facility is very open, we are here to be a positive light in the community and open our doors to everyone, it doesn't matter what your background is,” he added.

Deputy and Acting Chairman of the World Zionist Organization Yaakov Hagoel said: "This morning we rose again to the rising voices of anti-Semitism in the United States.

"This time, swastikas were painted on the walls, swastika patterns painted in black, and cans of crushed paint were thrown on the floor of the Chabad synagogue in Arizona.

The anti-Semitism raising its head at this time in the United States and around the world threatens the welfare of our people.

"I call upon the law enforcement authorities to immediately and uncompromisingly prosecute the anti-Semitic criminals. The writing is already on the wall, and we shouldn't wait for a similar incident to the Pittsburgh massacre."

Last December, a high school in Phoenix, Arizona was vandalized with swastikas and what appear to be Satanist symbols scrawled in a school stairwell.

In December 2016, vandals in Chandler, a town located roughly 20 minutes southeast of Phoenix, twisted a Jewish family’s menorah into the shape of a swastika during the Hanukkah festival.

Three teenagers were later arrested in connection with the vandalism, and were sentenced to 30 hours of community service, along with writing an apology letter to the victims and paying restitution. They were also ordered to meet with a Holocaust survivor and write an essay on what they learned about the Holocaust and how their desecration of the menorah affected the community.