‘It’s an Absolute Sign of Hate’: Raleigh Jews on Edge After Swastikas Found by Rabbi on Pedestrian Bridge
January 26, 2022
The Jewish community of Raleigh, North Carolina, is on alert following a recent antisemitic graffiti incident in the city, The News & Observer reported.
Two spray-painted swastikas were noticed on a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 540 by Beth Mayer Synagogue Rabbi Eric Solomon on Jan. 10 during a morning run. He contacted municipal and state authorities and the offensive graffiti was subsequently removed.
“It is a sign of absolute hatred,” Solomon told The News & Observer. “So when I saw that, I thought to myself, ‘This is beyond the line. This is not just some kind of silliness or someone doing something definitely illegal, but not such a big deal, to, ‘Wow, I need to do something about it.’”
The graffiti — including additional smaller swastika found on the same bridge a week later — has put the local Jewish community on edge, he said.
“We’re very sensitive and aware, and we realize we have to speak up and be clear,” Solomon added. “And not only against the Jewish community, but really any community that is being publicly attacked.”
Raleigh City Council Member Patrick Buffkin commented, “We all recognize hate can be found anywhere, but it’s not welcome in Raleigh. We have to be ever vigilant for this kind of sentiment, lest it grow in our community. We don’t want that. We’re a welcoming, open community.”