'It's real and scary'

20 minutes from DC: 'Jewish pigs' and swastikas

Anti-Semitic acts have been on the rise in the US ever since Trump's election to president; a Jewish family in a North Virginia town recalls the frightening details of finding a swastika etched on the front door of their house.

Maya Berman was shocked to discover on Monday that a swastika had been carved onto the door of her North Virginian house when she returned home from work at 6pm, but her concern only increased when she found anti-Semitic pejorative the following evening.



"We're in complete shock," she told Ynet. "Until today, none of us personally felt any kind of anti-Semitism."


Berman's husband, Shai van Gelder, is a California native who previously came to Israel to volunteer for combat service with the IDF. He said that upon discovering the swastika he thought that this was a one-off occurrence, "but the next day, Tuesday, we were shocked to find that someone had added to the door of the house the words 'JEW PIGS.'"



Berman told Ynet, "This isn't 'fake news'; it's real, and it's scary. We only live 20 minutes form the capital Washington, and we didn't expect to see something like this in our lifetime."


The couple reported the incident to the police, who still don't know who was responsible. In the interim, they recommended that the couple stay alert.


"We spoke with the superintendent about putting up security cameras, and we're definitely considering buying a weapon," Berman said. "Jewish organizations, like the Jewish Federation, promised to look into the matter with the authorities. The JCRC told me that there's been an increase by dozens of percent in the number of anti-Semitic incidents against Jews since Trump was elected."


In a post Berman described her feeling following the discovery: "shock, rejection, anger, nausea, and a lot of despair—none of these words even begins to describe how I felt."


Berman and her husband
Berman and her husband


"Please, tell me more about how racism and anti-Semitism no longer exist. Go on… we live in the wealthiest county of North Virginia, only twenty minutes from our capital. Is there no more grace in this world?" She continued.


A wave of hate crimes

On the same day in which the swastika was sprayed in North Virginia, other swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were sprayed in a high school and public library in Northbrook, Chicago, as well.


American media outlets have claimed that the wave of hate crimes and harassments, some distinctly anti-Semitic, have accompanied Trump's election since November. The Washington Post published that the FBI stated that Anti-Semitic crimes are among the most common religious hate crimes in the US, and that racist violence against Jews is on the rise.


A month ago, a Jewish family from Arizona discovered that vandals had defaced the large menorah they placed in their backyard and turned it into a huge swastika. Another family from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received threats and insults after national newspapers published stories according to which they had allegedly got their son's school to cancel their Christmas production.


פרסום ראשון: 02.01.17, 19:00
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