By Alex Lloyd Gross
Currently, police are calling the desecration of over 100 headstones at the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery “Institutional Vandalism”. It’s not being called a “Hate Crime’ officially. Unofficially, it is and much worse. Yesterday, February 29, 2017, multiple politicians and local residents gathered near the site, so denounce the act. While they were talking, dozens of volunteers were hard at work cleaning up the grounds while others were mapping out the damage, to contact family members that might be unaware..
Spearheaded by Pa. Rep Jared Solomon, reps from Montgomery county, like Thomas Murt were present and spoke. In reality, the entire state government could have been there, as there is no one in their right minds that would condone this. Police said they have no suspects but an investigation is continuing. That includes looking at area surveillance cameras and taking a closer examination of the damage. currently, the reward is over $50,000.
That is the kind of money that would encourage friends to squeal on each other and even family members have been dimed out for less. The money keeps pouring in. Help is also pouring in , as it was announced that the building and trades union will be lending resourced to fix the damage. The stones cannot just be lifted, they must be done a certain way. portable cranes and derricks will have to be brought in. Representatives from the Anti Defamation League said the process could take weeks.
“Security cameras will be installed, capitol improvements will be made”, Soloman said. If the tipping over of headstones was intended to intimidate Jews, it failed and failed miserably. Teenagers and young adults joined senior citizens in working for free to clean up the grounds. Bags of trash were carted out all day. Recently, there is been an up tick in Anti Semitic events around the country, ranging from calls to Jewish Community Centers and other acts of vandalism. When caught, the offenders face long prison sentences and will most likely be charged as an adult if they are a juvenile.
In Georgia, two people were sentenced to six and 13 years for yelling racial slurs at a children’s birthday party. Those involved in these acts can expect even harsher penalties.