Anti-Semitic graffiti has New York City residents and political leaders up on arms. Last week, swastikas were found painted on two branches of the Queens Library and on the door of a local a synagogue. In sum, a total of five swastikas were sprayed on the three buildings.
Police believe that the malicious acts were committed on the East Elmhurst Library, the Jackson Heights Library and the Congregation Tifereth Israel in Corona sometime on Thursday. Despite the close proximity to a police tower in the area -- only about 150 yards away -- authorities didn't see the incident unfolding. Political leaders are outraged.
"Up until this morning, the NYPD had a tower, a lift right over there on that corner, and this hate crime happened under their nose, literally," City Councilman Daniel Dromm explained. "It’s not but 20 feet from here. Both sides of the street had been cleared of cars so that the police could be over there."
State Assembly Candidate Francisco Moya also weighed in. "We have to stand up and send a clear message to whoever is doing this. You will be caught and we will prosecute you to the full extent of the law. This community will not tolerate it," he said.
The Hate Crimes Task Force is also looking into the discovery of another swastika, which was found on a Brooklyn sidewalk. Currently, a reward is being offered, as authorities seek the individual or individuals responsible for the reprehensible acts.
These crimes happened at the same time the Anti-Defamation League released a survey last week showing that anti-Semitic attitudes have risen in the United States. The study found that 15 percent of Americans -- nearly 35 million adults -- hold anti-Jewish views (up from 2009 by three percent).