BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

Another Jewish Cemetery Was Vandalized

Around 100 headstones were knocked over at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia, police said.

Last updated on February 26, 2017, at 8:21 p.m. ET

Posted on February 26, 2017, at 5:46 p.m. ET

NE Det Capt. Shawn Thrush toured Jewish cemetery where 75-100 headstones were toppled. "It's beyond belief," he said

Vandalism was discovered at a Jewish cemetery on Sunday, days after a similar incident in St. Louis, and amid concern that anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise.

Around 100 headstones were knocked over at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in northeast Philadelphia, police said.

The vandalism was discovered Sunday morning by a man visiting his father's grave. The graves of three of his family members were knocked over, and he called police, who responded to investigate.

"It's criminal. This is beyond vandalism," Philadelphia police Capt. Shawn Thrush told the Philadelphia Daily News & Inquirer. "It's beyond belief."

Jewish groups around the country have said they've seen a rise in anti-Semitism in recent weeks; since January, 69 Jewish community centers have received bomb threats.

"We are appalled to see the desecration of another Jewish cemetery," the Anti-Defamation League said on Twitter. "These attacks need to end now."

The group is offering $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible. The local police union also offered $3,000 as a reward.

We are appalled to see the desecration of another Jewish cemetery. These attacks need to end now: https://t.co/d9S1KUAWCg

Last week, after more than 150 gravestones were knocked over in St. Louis, a fundraiser started by two Muslim Americans collected more than $100,000 to go toward repairs. Vice President Mike Pence joined a clean-up event at the St. Louis cemetery, and a White House spokesman said Trump had been very clear that hate-motivated crimes were unacceptable.

“I will tell you that anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s going to stop. It has to stop,” Trump told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin on Tuesday.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions on Sunday.

Police estimate 75-100 headstones toppled at Mount Carmel Jewish cemetery in Philly.

Though authorities have not released the name of a suspect in the Philadelphia vandalism, visitors to the cemetery said they believed the motive was anti-Semitism. Mount Carmel is one of four graveyards that share an intersection, the News & Inquirer noted. Only Jewish graves appear to have been vandalized.

"I'm hoping it was maybe just some drunk kids," Aaron Mallin, who discovered the vandalism, told 6ABC. "But the fact that there's so many, it leads one to think it could have been targeted."


ADVERTISEMENT