Pence ‘sickened’ by swastikas sprayed on Indiana synagogue

US Vice President Mike Pence was “sickened and appalled” by the vandalism in his home state of Indiana.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Congregants who came to pray Saturday morning at Shaarey Tefillah, a synagogue in Carmel, Indiana, were greeted by the painful sight of three large Nazi symbols painted on their property.

Two large Iron Crosses — German military decorations — and a red Nazi flag complete with swastika defaced part of a brick wall surrounding the building.

The Conservative synagogue just north of Indianapolis had never received a threat or even a harassing call before this attack, its media representative told CNN.

US Vice President Mike Pence, who served as governor of the Hoosier State before becoming President Donald Trump’s running mate, denounced the anti-Semitic act on Twitter.

“Sickened and appalled by the cowardly act of vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla; a beautiful synagogue in Carmel, Indiana where I have many good friends,” he tweeted. “Those responsible must be held accountable. These vile acts of anti-Semitism must end.”

Debra Barton Grant, CEO and executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, took the opportunity to push for a law against hate crime.

“I’m disgusted and furious tonight that this has happened and that my beautiful State of Indiana is one of only five states in the country that lacks a hate crime statute,” she posted to her Facebook page. “There can be no equivocation when it comes to rejecting Nazism, white supremacy and antisemitism. Such bigotry in all its forms is antithetical to the principles of freedom and equality that form the cornerstone of American democracy and our pluralistic society.”

The city’s mayor firmly condemned the incident, reported CNN.

“There is no place for this kind of hatred in Carmel, and it does not reflect the respectful and welcoming nature of the vast majority of our residents, who come from many different cultural and faith backgrounds,” Jim Brainard said.

Although naturally disturbed by the graffiti, Shaarey Tefillah’s rabbi was grateful for the supportive statement, noted the report.

“We are deeply disappointed in the horrific vandalism that occurred at our congregation,” Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow said. “Intolerance, hatred and violent acts against Jews are significant realities today. The response to this heinous act affirms that America is collectively outraged at these hateful acts in our neighborhoods.”

The congregation sent a message that it will not be intimidated and is resuming regularly scheduled services.

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