Leaders of Nassau and Suffolk counties are joining forces to fight hate crimes after two incidents were reported at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.
“We cannot look away from the fact that bigotry, antisemitism and other forms of hatred seek to divide us, and we will not be divided,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Monday at the Holocaust Museum in Glen Gove, where the island-wide anti-hate task force was unveiled.
Swastikas were among some of the racist graffiti found last week at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center. A week before, the N word was among graffiti sprayed in the museum’s memorial garden for child victims of the Holocaust.
Police Lt. John Nagle of the Glen Cove Police Department said four pieces of graffiti were found on a tree and a rock on the 203-acre grounds of the Holocaust memorial. The graffiti included two swastikas, one on the tree and another on the rock along trails on the grounds, he said.
Graffiti including a racial slur was found on November 24 at the nearby Webb Institute, an area engineering school. Neither incident of graffiti was on the center building itself, police said.
“We are investigating this as a hate crime,” Nagle 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,” Curran said in a statement. “We must never allow hateful acts, whether they come in the form of graffiti or violence, to find comfort in our communities.”
“Antisemitism is not just a Jewish issue,” said Congressman Peter King, who represents southwestern Suffolk County and southeastern Nassau County. “It is a vicious evil which people of religions must oppose and do everything to crush. I commend the County Executives for their swift action in announcing a bicounty Island-wide anti-hate task force.”