Antisemitic graffiti found written on buildings and in public spaces shocked a posh Hamptons hamlet, according to the authorities.
“With the current climate and the state of affairs in the world, it is troubling that an individual – or individuals – would act out in such a manner,” East Hampton Police Capt. Chris Anderson told Newsday.
The antisemitic graffiti was discovered on Monday morning in a number of locations throughout the town of Montauk, which is home to an East Hampton police precinct. These locations included food trucks and the doors and picnic benches of two downtown restaurants.
East Hampton Police Chief Michael Sarlo told the local media that police arrived at the scene “before sunrise.”
On Long Island’s South Shore, there is a hamlet called Montauk that is part of East Hampton. Celebrities frequent this popular summertime location, which is well-known for its mansions with stunning views of the lake.
Swastikas, “Free Palestine,” and the words “Jeden die” were among the graffiti, according to the New York Post. The last phrase was probably meant to reference the German word “Juden,” which means “Jews.”
Regarding the graffiti, Anderson remarked, “The spelling is not great.”
The vandalism, which most likely happened Sunday night, is being looked into, according to the police.
“We cannot make further comment on specific steps at this time,” the police chief said. “Obviously, the canvass of the areas for any and all video footage will be a primary concern.”
This week, other town officials quickly condemned the graffiti and its message. East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, for example, termed it “evil.”
“We live in a close-knit, caring, and inclusive community, but this morning we were greeted by evil and disgusting symbols of hatred which appeared in Montauk during the overnight hours, on town buildings and private businesses,” Scoyoc said, according to a press release from the town of East Hampton.
“I condemn these racist, anti-Semitic acts in the strongest possible terms,” he wrote. “Civil society requires us to treat each other with respect, tolerance, and dignity, especially now as tensions are increasing due to conflicts in other parts of the world.”
“Kristallnacht”—also known as the “Night of Broken Glass”—was a violent pogrom against Jews and Jewish-owned businesses in Nazi Germany in 1938, less than a year before World War II broke out in Europe. Rabbi Josh Franklin of the Jewish Centre of the Hamptons added in a Facebook post that he spent Monday cleaning up the graffiti. He also compared the incident to that event.
“I spent my morning in Montauk helping clean up the graffiti left on a Montauk store owned by Jews. It feels like I’m living Kristalnacht (sic) in 2023,” he posted to Facebook..
The incident occurred about a month after Israel was the target of unprecedented strikes by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which started a war that has been continuing since October 7.
Since then, there have been demonstrations in cities all around the world, including New York, in favour of Israel and the Palestinian people in Gaza. Since the start of the conflict, similar antisemitic graffiti has appeared in other parts of the state, according to the New York Post. Examples include anti-Israel statements on a sidewalk near a well-known Brooklyn synagogue and a swastika that was inscribed on a Jewish restaurant on the Upper East Side last month.