‘Jews not welcome’ painted near Bethesda school

Graffiti on the fence of the Bethesda Trolley Trail in November shows people hanging from a noose with the words, “No Mercy for Jews.” Photo by Allison Fishkind

“Jews not welcome” was painted on an entrance sign to Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. The graffiti was discovered on Saturday morning.

A painted swastika was discovered on Friday on a bench at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda.

Montgomery County police said they were investigating and increasing patrols near schools, community centers and places of worship, according to reports.

In two cases of vandalism in Bethesda last month, three people hanging from a noose with the words “No Mercy for Jews” were painted at the Bethesda Trolley Trail; and swastikas with white supremacy symbols were painted at Old Georgetown Road and Tuckerman Lane.


Montgomery County Council, which unanimously passed a resolution about antisemitism last month, issued a statement on Saturday:

“We are disgusted and angry to learn about yet another display of hate targeting the Jewish community in Montgomery County. Our nation continues to experience a deeply troubling rise in antisemitism, and we must continue to join together to denounce these acts of hate here at home.”

In a joint statement, the ADL, AJC, JCRC and Jewish Federation of Greater Washington said they were “angered and disgusted” by the vandalism.

“While these specific acts do not indicate any increased direct threat to our community, it is important that any acts of hate be reported immediately to ensure rapid municipal response and remediation,” the statement read.

In an email to the Walt Whitman community on Saturday, school principal Robert W. Dodd wrote: “While we are deeply disturbed and disappointed by what occurred today, it will not deter us from our collective mission to end antisemitism andintolerance and build a safe and inclusive school community where ALL students can thrive.”


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