US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism against a synagogue in suburban Indianapolis.
A black swastika surrounded by a red background and the German and Nazi Military Iron Cross were painted on a wall at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a 200-member family Conservative synagogue in Carmel, Indiana.
The graffiti were painted on the synagogue early on Saturday morning. Shabbat morning services were held despite the discovery, the synagogue said in a post on Facebook.
Vice President Pence responded to the vandalism on his Twitter account. "Sickened and appalled by the cowardly act of vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla; a beautiful synagogue in Carmel, Indiana where I have many good friends. Those responsible must be held accountable. These vile acts of anti-Semitism must end," wrote Pence, who is from Indiana.
Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett also condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism.
"I my support to the Jewish community in Indiana, where a swastika was painted on the wall of a synagogue. We are united in condemning this despicable attack. I thank the local authorities and US Vice President Mike Pence for their support," Bennett said.
Last week, Pence warned that religious persecution could exist in free and democratic societies as well as in authoritarian societies.
“While religious freedom is always in danger in authoritarian regimes, threats to religious minorities are not confined to autocracies or dictatorships,” Pence told government officials from from 80 countries at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. “They can, and do, arise in free societies, as well — not from government persecution but from prejudice and hatred.”
The Vice President noted a rise in religious intolerance in Europe.
“Just 70 years after the Holocaust, attacks on Jews, even on aging Holocaust survivors, are growing at an alarming rate,” he said. Pence cited a record high last year in attacks on British Jews, and warnings of Jewish leaders in France and Germany not to wear kippahs."