Police in Fall River, Massachusetts are investigating the vandalism of 59 headstones in a Jewish cemetery.
On Sunday, Jeffrey Weissmann, the president of Congregation Adas Israel, discovered that many of the headstones in the Hebrew Cemetery had been vandalized. Two had been knocked over, and several others had anti-Semitic graffiti written on them in black ink.
"Expel the Jews," "Heil Hitler," and "This is MAGA country" are just some of the messages that were written on the headstones.
Police Chief Albert Dupere said, “Something on this scale, I can’t remember seeing something like this before. I think it’s awful that this should ever happen anywhere, let alone here in Fall River.”
The local police, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Congregation Adas Israel are all offering cash rewards for anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.
"The desecration of The Hebrew Cemetery of Fall River is an inexcusable act of antisemitic hatred in the place where we honor and remember the lives of our community members," ADL New England said in a statement.
According to a report issued by the ADL, there was a 57 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2017. It was the largest single-year increase on record. In October, eleven people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while shouting, "All Jews must die!"
These kinds of attacks on people based on nothing but their religious background serve as a reminder that even now in the 21st century many people are dedicated to perpetuating medieval tribal hatred.