Crime

Saint Louis Jewish Cemetery Vandalized

| by John Freund

A Jewish cemetery in St. Louis were desecrated over the weekend of Feb. 18 and 19. 

The Washington Post reports that a cemetery operated by the Chesed Shel Emeth Society in St. Louis was vandalized, with 170 gravestones being toppled over. 

Video surveillance shows a pair of individuals in the cemetery at night. Police are currently investigating the incident and asking the public for any leads. 

President Donald Trump termed the incident "horrible" and pledged to take action to counter extremism. Those comments come just hours after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that the White House needs to do more to combat forces of anti-Semitism that are rising in the country. 

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In a tweet, Clinton wrote: “JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ [the president].”

Responding to the latest incident, Trump said: “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

Trump has been criticized in the past for his alleged unwillingness to decry acts of anti-Semitism.  Just recently, he was asked a pointed question about anti-Semitism from a Jewish reporter, which he seems to have dodged.  Trump claims the question was "insulting" and that he is "the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life."  

“American Jews are worried,” said Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress. “It is shocking to see that Jewish sites are once again being targeted by criminals.”

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Reaction to this latest incident was swift. One Facebook user wrote, “The Trump effect. Congratulations if you support him. You'll forever be known as a bigot, racist, and anti-Semite. Hope you're proud of that.” 

Another added, “That's what happens when you have a president that won't call out antisemitism and have people like Bannon in the White House.”  

Cemetery Director Anita Feigenbaum has stated that she has received an "outpouring of support from across the United States" from people volunteering to help repair the cemetery.  "We will reach out to the families that are affected," she said. 

Sources: The Washington Post, The Washington Post/Facebook / Photo credit: Bert Kaufmann/Flickr

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