According to local Jewish leaders, the discovery this week of aggressively antisemitic graffiti along a well-traveled walking path in Maryland is simply the most recent in a rising tide of anti-Jewish vandalism and activity that dates back a decade.
A swastika, the phrase “No mercy for the Jews,” and many shabby drawings of people hanging from gallows in the hangman style were uncovered in graffiti along the Bethesda Trolley Trail outside of Washington, D.C., on Monday.
The same trail was covered in similar graffiti in August.
Meredith Weisel, the Anti-Defamation League’s local, regional director, stated, “this is nothing new.”
Jewish authorities claim that although these issues have gained widespread attention in recent months due to scandals involving the basketball player Kyrie Irving and the rapper formerly known as Kayne West, the frequency of antisemitic conduct precedes those incidents.
“People are seeking a scapegoat. According to Gil Preuss, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, they seek a group of people they can blame for their issues.
There have been several events in recent years, including white nationalist demonstrations and the distribution of antisemitic pamphlets and graffiti.
An organization identifying itself as the Goyim Defense League has disseminated anti-Jewish flyers and pamphlets numerous times this year in Maryland and Virginia, according to the ADL’s online database, while incidences in the District of Columbia continue to be relatively infrequent.
Weisel partly ascribed the pattern to an increase in extremism and racial and religious intolerance in society, which occurred concurrently with but also before the ascent of former President Donald Trump.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, close to the University of Virginia, white supremacists held a public gathering in August 2017.
One person was murdered when a car driver plowed into a crowd of anti-racist protesters.
These extreme viewpoints are now prevalent in society. Now, it has become commonplace,” Weisel remarked. Although it could begin in the Jewish community, it never ends there.