Torah scroll (illustration)
Torah scroll (illustration)iStock

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai responded Monday to the destruction of a Torah scroll at George Washington University.

"The appearance of the Torah scroll at George Washington University in the United States is reminiscent of harsh images from an entirely different period. Anti-Semitism does not disappear, it returns and raises its head in places we would not expect," Shai said.

He noted recent surveys which show a large percentage of American Jews change their behavior due to fear of anti-Semitism. "There are about 6 million Jews living in the United States, 40% admit that they felt the need to change behavior or curb statements that highlight their Judaism in the past year."

"These data cannot be accepted. Anti-Semitic acts are a hate crime in every way. The State of Israel is committed to working on this issue together with other countries, and we at the Diaspora Minister devote a lot of resources and time to the fight against anti-Semitism, to protect communities and to ensure a Jewish way of life."

The break-in occurred at the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity’s George Washington University chapter Sunday, Hatchet, the university’s student newspaper reported.

The Jewish on Campus group tweeted that during the break-in, a Torah scroll was destroyed. The group also released a picture of the scroll, which was not only torn up but also covered in laundry detergent.