Jewish cemetery in Michigan vandalized with Trump graffiti
The graffiti was discovered the same day and in the same city that the Trump campaign held its final rally
A Jewish cemetery in western Michigan was vandalized with graffiti in support of President Donald Trump one day before Election Day, according to local authorities.
Headstones situated in the Ahavas Achim Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan were spray-painted in red ink with the words “TRUMP” and “MAGA,” Grand Rapids police say. “MAGA” is the acronym for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
The police department said it is investigating the incident. At this time, there are no apparent suspects and no evidence was retrieved.
Trump held his last campaign rally in the city the same day that the defacement was discovered.
The Michigan Jewish Democrats released a statement on Twitter saying it was “appalled and outraged” by the event. The statement went on to say that the timing of the incident was a clear indication of motive and that the intimidation of Jewish voters would not be tolerated.
“The desecration at Ahavas Israel is evocative of the febrile political atmosphere our country finds itself in right now,” said Noah Arbit, founder and chair of the Michican Democratic Jewish Caucus.
“Time and again, the President of the United States has sided with antisemites, white supremasists, racists, and bigots of all types. Now, our countering is paying the price. Tomorrow, we will end it,” he concluded.
The Jewish Anti-Defamation League of Michigan also released a statement on Twitter, saying it was appalled by the “reported desecration of gravestones.”
“We are in close touch with the Jewish community and Law Enforcement to investigate this vandalism,” the Tweet continued.
In March 2019, a similar incident occurred when 59 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Fall River, Massachusetts were defaced with graffiti. The graves were painted with swastikas and messages like “expel the jew.”
Anti-semetic incidents reached record levels in 2019, with over 2,000 hate crimes reported, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Kent County, where the city of Grand Rapids is situated, is a critical county for Trump to hold on to in his reelection against Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger.
Trump won over Kent County voters in his 2016 election against Hillary Clinton on his way to winning the state of Michigan by a very slim margin. He was the first Republican to win the state since George H. W. Bush in 1988 and he is fighting to keep the battleground state and its 16 electoral votes from going for Biden.
President Barack Obama won Kent County by a small margin in the 2008 election and lost the county in his 2012 reelection bid.
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