Several headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids, Mich., were found vandalized with pro-Trump slogans a day before the president closes out his last campaign blitz in the city.
Images of the headstones at the cemetery owned by Congregation Ahavas Israel showed multiple stone slabs each spray-painted with a letter to spell out “Trump” and “MAGA,” referring to “Make America Great Again,” Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan. It was not clear how many stones were vandalized.
“This is the main cemetery for Jewish people in the city of Grand Rapids,” Noah Arbit, founding chair of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus, told Fox News.
The desecrated stones were discovered by a community resident, he said.
The imagery comes a year after the city’s reform synagogue, Temple Emanuel, was vandalized with anti-Semitic messages. Carolyn Normandin, regional director of Anti-Defamation League Michigan, stopped short of calling the cemetery vandalism anti-Semitic.
“It was definitely vandalism and it was definitely political in nature, but we have no reason to call this straight-up anti-Semitism because there were no anti-Semitic symbols on the gravestones that were vandalized,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“We’re taking it seriously because it was a Jewish cemetery and there were no other cemeteries or communal buildings in the area that were vandalized at the same time. Why did the vandals choose this cemetery?”
Rabbi David Krishef told the news outlet the 125-member congregation has never been targeted in the past.
Local authorities have been notified, Arbit said. Calls and messages to the Anti-Defamation League Michigan and Krishef were not immediately returned.
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The vandalism occurred a day before Trump is scheduled to appear at an election night rally in Grand Rapids to close out his 2020 re-election campaign. Michigan is a crucial swing state that Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden have targeted in a push for votes.
In a tweet, the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus blamed Trump over his failure to condemn white supremacists on several occasions.
He “has sided with antisemites, white supremacists, racists, and bigots of all kinds,” the group said. “Now, our country is paying the price. Tomorrow, we will end it.”