The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which occured Oct. 27, 2018, led to the deaths of 11 people.
On Friday’s fifth anniversary, members woke up to “FREE PALESTINE” graffiti scrawled along the brickwork in front of the building.
This is scrawled across the wall of Allderdice High School located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the predominantly Jewish community where the massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue took 11 lives in the worst attack against Jews in US history in 2018-story this afternoon pic.twitter.com/UWFhFTWWut
— ZitoSalena (@ZitoSalena) October 26, 2023
The vandals also crossed out the word “Israel” in the synagogue’s “We Stand with Israel” sign, and replaced it with “Gaza.”
— Marc Rudov (@MarcRudov) October 27, 2023
Rich Fitzgerald—an outgoing Democrat executive for Allegheny County who has lived for over 40 years in the “Squirrel Hill” neighborhood, where the school and synagogue are located—condemned the timing of the brazen hate crime.
“The day before the fifth anniversary of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in this country’s history, it is beyond the pale that this type of thing would happen in this neighborhood,” he said.
He also accused the vandals of engaging in “intimidation,” noting that they were trying to “stoke fear in the community.”
Despite the high probability of the graffiti being the work of leftists, several Democrat politicians joined Fitzgerald in condemning it.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said that he called school officials to offer his condolences.
“I just got off the phone with Dr. McCoy of Allderdice High School and Rabbi Myers from the Tree of Life to check in an offer my support,” he said. “This is a painful week for the Squirrel Hill neighborhood and the entire Jewish community in Pittsburgh. I stand with them, now and always.”
Casey was joined in his lament by fellow Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa. who said that the only things that should be on the wall were the Israeli flag and photos of the Hamas kidnapping.
He also called the graffiti “reprehensible.”