An Israeli flag spray painted with a swastika and white supremacist numeric symbols was found on the grounds of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation’s Seifer Community Center on Thursday morning.
What was described by Rabbi Elias Lieberman as a “hateful act directed at our community of Jews,” occurred following the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur which ended Wednesday night.
The incident was reported immediately and is under investigation by the Falmouth Police Department, Rabbi Lieberman said.
The rabbi said that the flag, which was found blown into the bushes, “reflects attitudes and beliefs that exist in our community” and that “whoever did this clearly subscribes to white supremacy.”
The flag contained the spray painted numeral “14-88” which the Anti-Defamation League says is shorthand for the white supremacist “14 Words” slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,” with the “88” referring to the phrase “Heil Hitler.”
“It’s easy to assume that because Cape Cod is such a wonderful place to live, that we are immune,” Rabbi Lieberman said.
He noted that the discovery of the defaced flag came on the heels of a deadly attack near a German synagogue Wednesday afternoon on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
“I think it's up to all members of Cape Cod to resist this kind of hatred,” the rabbi said.
“This time it was our community, next time it could be another community,” Rabbi Lieberman said, noting the attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last year, recent attacks on Muslim places of worship, and hateful acts against other minority groups.
“Hatred knows no boundaries,” he said.
Rabbi Lieberman described the police’s response as “very supportive” and said the congregation is continuing to work with the police to ensure safety and aide the investigation.