A swastika, the Nazi symbol recognized for its use in messages of hate, was found this morning on the street in front of a New City community leader's home.
Steve Gold said a neighbor was the first to spot the swastika painted on Lady Godiva Way in the Camelot development, located between Route 304 and Congers Road in New City.
The incident comes just weeks before Gold, and his wife Helene, are being honored by the Rockland Holocaust Museum & Study Center at its Annual Benefit Brunch, where they are scheduled to receive the Leadership Award on Oct. 21 at the Crowne Plaza in Montebello.
Clarkstown police said it is unknown whether this incident is a random act or a targeted act. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Clarkstown Police Department at 845-639-5800 or the anonymous Tips Line at 877-639-6233.
Police said an asterisk symbol was also painted nearby on a manhole cover in the same blue spraypaint.
The incident quickly prompted angry reaction:
“I am outraged by anti-Semitic vandalism in New City near the home of a prominent member of the Jewish community whose parents survived the Holocaust," said U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Rockland/Westchester. “I know Clarkstown Police Department will investigate this crime and hold accountable anyone who would deface public roads with such a symbol of hate.
“This shocking act is another reminder that even in the most diverse and educated areas of the country, the scourge of intolerance and anti-Semitism must be erased," Lowey said. "All members of our community have a responsibility to reject intolerance and speak out against hate speech directed against individuals for no reason other than their religion.”
Steve Gold is a vice president of JCC Rockland in West Nyack. He chairs the Munich 11 Minute of Silence Campaign.
At a recent memorial to the Munich 11, Gold said, "By the International Olympic Committee saying no [to a moment of silence], they failed to inspire a new generation of combating anti-semitism."