Second set of graffiti found at Holocaust Center

One of two swastikas drawn near the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County. (Photo courtesy of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County)

For the second time in less than two weeks, anti-Semitic graffiti was found around the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove, this time involving swastikas spray-painted on trees in the nearby Welwyn Preserve.

“The Glen Cove Police Department notified us of a second incident of graffiti on our doorstep, this time including swastikas,” a statement from the Holocaust Center read. “We are shocked and saddened about the appearance of this representation of Nazi ideology.”

One swastika appeared on a tree, and another on a rock, accompanied by the name “Tommy.”

The statement said the center learned about the graffiti on Wednesday, the same day they hosted a public event on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Against Israel movement.

Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke decried the graffiti in a statement distributed Friday morning.

“The City of Glen Cove does not and will not allow hatred or intolerance of any kind,” Tenke said. “Hate and intolerance have no place in our city, and it is now time to stand up as leaders and educators so we can prevent such thought from continuing.”

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, in an email to center Chairman Steven Markowitz, called the graffiti “shocking.”

“We need to, once again, stand together against these anti-Semitic acts as well as all acts depicting prejudice and hate,” Bosworth wrote. “How painful to see this, especially at the center which promotes tolerance and serves as a tribute to those who lost so much during the Holocaust.”

U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi (D – Glen Cove) also wrote to Markowitz in support of the center.

“I am with you,” Suozzi wrote.

Isma H. Chaudhry, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury, called the graffiti “disgusting” and “disturbing” in an email to Markowitz.

“Please tell us how we can help,” Chaudhry wrote. “We are standing with our Jewish brothers and sisters in solidarity against these hateful symbols of anti-Semitism.”

Nassau County Exective Laura Curran also released a statement condemning the graffiti.

“Nassau County has a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry,” Curran said. “This brazen act of vandalism targeting the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County is not an isolated incident, and we take it very seriously. We must never allow hateful acts, whether they come in the form of graffiti or violence, to find comfort in our communities. We will respond by standing together to condemn anti-Semitism, and other forms of hatred that seek to divide us and turn us against each other.”

The center said they were “coordinating with the Glen Cove Police and Nassau County officials” on how to proceed. An email from Markowitz from Wednesday afternoon says he “expect[s] the offensive graffiti to be removed immediately.”

“In the meantime, we commit ourselves to continuing to educate young people and adults about the Holocaust and these offensive and hurtful symbols of hate,” he said in the statement.

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Rose Weldon

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