A Jewish family in Arizona has been left feeling shocked and upset after a large Menorah they had displayed in their garden for Chanukah was twisted into the shape of a Swastika by antisemitic vandals.
Naomi Ellis took to Facebook in a post which has now been shared over 2000 times to decry what she has described as a hate crime and to appeal for people to contact the police with any information.
The family awoke on the morning of December 30th to find the Chanukiah vandalized.
To vandalize a religion symbol on another person’s property is a blatant act of intimidation, and is understandably upsetting for the victims, who are celebrating a festival which commemorates the Jewish struggle for survival against intimidation and attempts to erase Jewish religious practice and culture.
Ms Ellis’ statements is as follows:
“We were just VICTIMIZED by a HATE CRIME
Last night my home was victimized by HATE. Instead of waking up to see our lighted Hanukkah menorah display on our front lawn, there was a swastika. My husband built the menorah to celebrate the Hanukkah holiday after our kids (3 boys 9, 7,5) asked for their own holiday lights for the season. We live in a great neighborhood with kind and welcoming neighbors. We never would have imagined that someone would spread so much hate here. However, this morning we were greeted with this horrible act of aggression. Our menorah was destroyed and altered to resemble a swastika. This clear act of hate and racism is disturbing and sad. I broke down in tears waiting for the police to come and hoping that my kids would not be awake to see it. The officer helped me take it down, before they woke-up. I’m still not sure how I will explain this to them. I’m not sure I quite understand it myself, nor have I ever understood racism or prejudice in any form. How can people can be filled with so much hate and violence? To think that someone would make such an effort to hurt and vandalize a family, is downright sickening. If you or anyone you know has any information that may help the police, please share and contact Chandler Police in response to 16-148624”
Update: shortly afterwards over 200 people turned up to repair the Menorah and to sing Chanukah songs with the family, in a wonderful display of solidarity.
The police continue to investigate.