Anti-Israel graffiti was spray-painted on the outside of Temple of Aaron Thursday night, according to an emailed statement from the synagogue.
In an email sent out Friday afternoon, Rabbis Marcus and Rachel Rubenstein and Cantor/Education Joshua Fineblum wrote: “Last night, the sign in front of our building proclaiming our support for the State of Israel and our prayers for peace in the region, was vandalized with anti-Zionist graffiti. We have quickly taken all necessary measures to report and remove this hateful graffiti.
“This event is especially disgraceful as we stand in mourning for Tomer Morad, age 27, Eytam Magini, age 27, and Barak Lufen, age 35, who were murdered by a terrorist in Tel Aviv just yesterday after two weeks of terror throughout the country.
“We want to be clear — this type of cowardly vandalism done under the cover of night only serves to strengthen our resolute support of our family in our beloved spiritual homeland. We stand with Israel.”
By early Friday afternoon, the vandalized sign was removed and the graffiti cleaned up. A St. Paul Police Department official said the department received a call at 10:10 a.m. “on a report of antisemitic graffiti painted outside the building.” SPPD didn’t confirm what was spray painted, but did say the investigation is considered open and active.
Israel has seen a sudden increase in terror attacks in recent days, with more terror victims killed in 2022 than in the past two years combined. The perpetrators have been Arab Israelis and Palestinians from the West Bank, some of whom have claimed affiliation with the terrorist group ISIS.
The attacks come a year after clashes between Palestinians and Jews in Jerusalem culminated in Jewish and Arab-Israeli riots in parts of Israel long considered areas of coexistence. In the same period, Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza, started an 11-day war with Israel.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started in early April, often coincides with an increase in terror attacks in Israel and clashes between Jews and Palestinians.
In a statement, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas said it is monitoring the situation as the vandalism is investigated:
“The JCRC condemns this antisemitic anti-Israel vandalism in the wake of Palestinian terrorism, in which fourteen people have been murdered and many more wounded over the past three weeks in Israel, making it the deadliest round of terrorism since 2006.
“JCRC staff members are in direct contact with Temple of Aaron staff, law enforcement, and the Secure Community Network. We thank these dedicated partners for their support and focused attention in investigating this incident.”