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Bangor synagogues defaced with anti-semitic symbols

5:36 PM, Sep 23, 2012   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- A symbol of hate now marks Beth Israel Synagogue's welcome sign, the same vandalism that is on the neighboring synagogue, Beth Abraham. It is an action that many would consider a hate crime.

Sergeant Paul Edwards with the Bangor Police Department said, "Someone understands what a swastika is and what it stands for obviously. They understand what it means to the jewish community and how hateful it is."

According to police, the vandalism happened between 7:00- 7:20pm Friday night. The vandals used spray paint to deface the synagogues with swastikas. Next to the Nazi symbol was an upside down crosses with three sixes, a symbol associated with satanic worship.

Rabbi Justin Goldstein with Beth Israel released this statement, "Whether or not this was nothing more than another incident of graffiti or a targeted display of hatred and bigotry, this act is a hate crime.  The vandalism at Congregation Beth Abraham and Congregation Beth Israel were not only crimes against private property; it was also a crime against peoples' sensibilities and emotions...I want for this incident to motivate us towards togetherness, understanding, respect and a deeper resolve to combat hatred, bigotry and insensitivity towards all people."

According to Sergeant Edwards, there has been a rise in graffiti and vandalism calls, but it has been a long time since the markings were associated with hate.

Edwards added that police will need the public's help to find and hold the guilty party accountable, "This is one of those crimes that it is very difficult for the police to catch up with. There's not a lot of evidence left behind if any...in this case probably not much."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bangor Police Department.

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