Unknown vandals scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on the cement outside the Jewish cemetery, Gates of Prayer, over the weekend. The Crescent City Jewish News reported on the incident yesterday.
While the identities of the assailants remain unknown, they left behind them three swastikas, the Nazi symbol and universal signifier of anti-Semitic hate. The vandals drew and crossed out a Star of David as well, the ostensible logo of the Jewish faith.
While the graffiti may have been there unnoticed as early as last Friday, Gates of Prayer authorities became aware of the hateful iconography on Sunday morning. They promptly filed a report with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an international NGO dedicated to combating bigotry against Jews.
A Gates of Prayer rabbi composed an email, explaining his belief that the vandalism was the work of isolated individuals, not members of a coordinated neo-Nazi or white supremacist group. As such, he does not believe that the spray paint represents a larger threat to the community. The fact that the swastikas were spray-painted backwards seems to further countenance this reassurance.
Though scandalized neighbors painted over the hateful symbols, they remained visible yesterday. The NOPD reportedly offered to increase its patrols in the area.