A shocked community in Northern Virginia woke up to news Saturday that the Fairfax Jewish Community Center was vandalized with spray-painted swastikas. It marked the second time in 18 months that the community center in Fairfax County has experienced this type of anti-Semitic vandalism.
Local law enforcement officials released security camera footage that showed a suspect spray-painting the swastikas at around 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. “Detectives are reviewing evidence collected at the scene and are working diligently in hopes of identifying the suspect and placing charges,” read the statement issued by police. Building staff noticed the 19 swastikas at around 7 a.m. as they were opening up for the day and immediately called police, according to a statement posted on the center’s social media pages.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine characterized the incident as part of a larger “insidious rise in hateful actions and anti-Semitism.” He noted that these types of action must be met “with fierce condemnation and an over-abundance of love and unity.” Rep. Gerry Connolly also condemned the action, writing on Twitter that “there is no place for the hateful act of vandalism at the Fairfax JCC today.”
The same Jewish Community Center was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti on the first night of Passover in April of last year. “Hitler was right” was one of the messages spray-painted across the entrance of the center last year. A swastika and an “SS” symbol were also spray-painted on the walls of the center.