Vile vandalism hits site of worst US antisemitic slaughter

By Dave Ferguson
November 13, 2023

PITTSBURGH — In a particularly cruel act of anti-Jewish vandalism, signs in people’s yards here saying “We stand with Israel” were defaced and “Free Palestine from PGH to Gaza” painted on the local school wall Oct. 26. This was the day before a planned commemoration on the fifth anniversary of the murderous assault on the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill neighborhood here that left 11 Jews dead.

“These incidents come on the heels of a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel that killed more than 1,400,” Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh officials said in a statement released to the press.

“For a Jewish community still healing from the worst antisemitic attack in U.S. history in 2018 and now retraumatized by the worst single act of terrorism against Jews since the Holocaust, these acts of vandalism are particularly despicable.”

“Antisemitic incidents, including rhetoric that delegitimizes Israel’s right to exist, has gone up dramatically in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel by Hamas,” Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Kelly Fishman told the Jewish Chronicle.

Tony Lane, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Allegheny County Executive, and other SWP campaign supporters joined the commemoration of the Tree of Life shooting Oct. 27, holding signs saying, “No to Jew-hatred” and “Condemn Jew-hating pogrom; Defend Israel’s right to exist.”

They distributed a statement by Rachele Fruit, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate from Florida. “Working people cannot rely on democratic imperialism to protect Jews,” she said. “Only the working classes of Israel, Palestine, Iran and the whole region can find a solution in their common interests. The same is true for workers in the United States.”