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Third US Jewish Cemetery Vandalized

03-03-2017
Vandalism at Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia
Vandalism at Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia

JERUSALEM, Israel – Vandals knocked over at least a dozen headstones, defacing some, in a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York, the third such incident in less than two weeks.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for an investigation by the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force, working with federal and local authorities.

Meanwhile, the president of the Britton Road Association, the nonprofit management company that oversees the Vaad Hakotel Cemetery, also called the Stone Road Cemetery, said there's no proof the incident was either a hate crime or an anti-Semitic attack.

"I don't want to label it a hate crime. I don't think there's any proof of that. I don't want to label it anti-Semitism. I don't think there's any proof of that," company President Michael Phillips said, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

According to the report, police were holding off investigating the vandalism until notification by the cemetery.

Two weeks ago, more than 150 graves in a Jewish cemetery outside of St. Louis were toppled and broken. Less than a week later, a similar attack knocked down more than 100 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

On Thursday, hundreds responded to a rally organized by a local Jewish federation in Philadelphia "to restore a sense of security and peace to our community."

In the past month, Jewish day schools, community centers and synagogues have been targeted by more than 180 bomb threats.

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