Seattle police were investigating a suspected hate crime Saturday after graffiti claiming the “Holocau$t i$ fake hi$tory” was spray-painted on the wall of a local synagogue.
NBC affiliate King 5 News reported the graffiti was discovered a day earlier outside Temple De Hirsch Sinai, a reform congregation with members who are Holocaust survivors themselves.
The letter “S” appearing three times in the sentence was fashioned as a dollar sign.
“The vast majority of Americans need to stand up and resist this type of intolerance and to demonstrate in no uncertain terms, that it is not acceptable and not permissible,” synagogue Rabbi Daniel Weiner said.
“Temple continues to take vigilant, substantive security measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. In light of other recent threats and upcoming celebrations, we have further enhanced these measures,” said Weiner.
Weiner noted in an interview with Fox’s Q13 News that the vandals were using language popularized by President Donald Trump, who has often spoken of “fake news” when referring to unflattering media reports.
“There’s a growing sense within our community and within our nation that there are those who have been on the margins before who now feel that this is permissible,” he said.
Jewish institutions, including community centers and Anti-Defamation League offices, have been hit with more than 100 bomb threats so far this year, all of them hoaxes. At least three American Jewish cemeteries have also been vandalized in recent months.
A new poll Thursday showed nearly two-thirds of US voters say hatred and prejudice in the United States have risen since Donald Trump was elected president.
Seventy percent of voters polled by Quinnipiac University said anti-Semitism was a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem, up from 49% in February, the poll found.
The Quinnipiac poll said US voters were split over Trump’s response to threats and acts of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries, with 37% who approve and 38% who disapprove.
JTA and AFP contributed to this report.