Over 20 gravestones were desecrated.

A Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts has been left defaced, continuing a horrible trend of anti-Semitic attacks on grave sites. In this case, Fall River’s Hebrew Cemetery was defaced by some unknown person or persons, leaving marker graffiti that featured swastikas as well as “Heil Hitler,” “Oy Vey,” as well as “Expel the Jews.” These phrases were accompanied by some gravestones being toppled over. Now, with the investigation being treated as a hate crime, there are many questions that remain.

Over 20 gravestones at the cemetery were defaced with the graffiti while two more were shoved over. However, what makes this attack even more repulsive than others is the historical aspects of the graveyard.

According to a spokesperson from the Anti-Defamation League “There are many Jewish immigrants who came to this country decades ago, even centuries ago, buried there.” The people who have been buried in this cemetery have been at rest for a very long time in some cases, and to have their graves defaced now is considered a terrible affront by the community.

Local police in the area believe the acts took place between March 16 and 17, when the graffiti was discovered by a resident who lives nearby the cemetery. Unfortunately, the police have not identified any suspects in the case nor have they released any additional information about evidence they might have in the case.

Presently, the town and the local Jewish community are very upset due to the graves being defaced. It comes as one more anti-Semitic act in a string of many others that have happened both in Massachusetts as well as around the United States. Based on information from Massachusetts in 2016 and 2017, there has been a 42 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents such as vandalism in recent years.

This also comes on the heels of several other local vandalism cases and a perceived rise in anti-Semitic activity throughout the United States, including violent acts. A reward is being offered for any information on the case in hopes of finding out who has been responsible for this round of vandalism.

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