PACIFIC PALISADES (CBSLA) — Police are investigating anti-Semitic graffiti that has been sprayed on benches and pathways from Will Rogers State Park south into Venice over the past month.
The neon spray-painted messages are hard to miss and especially upsetting with phrases like “the Jew is guilty” repeatedly painted along the pathways.
“I’m especially offended because we are Jewish and it’s scary,” Gabriel Lerner, a Santa Monica resident, told CBSLA’s Laurie Perez. Lerner and his wife, Celia Grail, came across the graffiti during a walk on the beach this weekend.
Police have said that they aware of the racist tropes showing up in the area. More of the hate-inspired language was added this weekend. It’s only been two weeks, as well as a month earlier, that similar graffiti was being painted on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. A neighbor in the area took it upon himself to clean that graphic language up himself.
In this latest incident, public works crews have come out and cleaned up some of the spots where the graffiti has been painted, but anti-hate groups say they’d like to see more action from city officials.
“Not just erase it, not just get rid of it, but to make a statement about how wrong and how evil and how bad this is. So the Jew is guilty of what? Pick any subject and you can apply it. This scapegoating of the Jewish people is historical. It goes back thousands of years and it has caused violence and death,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told CBSLA.
According to a report, published in March, by the Anti-Defamation League, distribution of white supremacist propaganda surged across the country. These types of recent cases in Southern California are just one example.
“We’re seeing so much division now…it is absolutely dangerous and we cannot take it for granted even a little bit,” Rothstein said.