A 100-year-old Jewish cemetery in the state of Michigan was discovered to have been desecrated with graffiti bearing the words “Trump” and “MAGA,” an abbreviation for President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”, according to photos released by the Anti-Defamation League of Michigan.
The cemetery in the western Michigan city of Grand Rapids belongs to Congregation Ahavas Israel, a Conservative synagogue.
According to Rabbi David Krishef, cited by Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the vandalism was discovered Monday and purportedly occurred over the weekend.
“It’s Halloween weekend, there was nothing spray-painted that indicated anything specifically anti-Semitic. Whoever did this may or may not have known that this was a Jewish cemetery,” said the Rabbi.
“I don’t want to blow this up into a known and definite incident of anti-Semitism. We don’t know that it was.”
Carolyn Normandin, regional director of ADL Michigan, said the ADL will continue looking into the incident at the cemetery.
“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,” said Normandin.
“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?”
According to Normandin, labeling the cemetery vandalism as an “extremist” incident would be “a bridge too far”.