A synagogue in the heavily Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois, was vandalized Sunday in what police are calling a “hate crime.”
A window was broken and a “Freedom for Palestine” sign was left on the premises, just before the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost).
Local NBC affiliate WMAQ-5 reports:
An incident in which a synagogue in north suburban Skokie was vandalized Sunday was being investigated as a hate crime, authorities said.
At approximately 3:03 p.m., officers with the Skokie Police Department responded to Persian Hebrew Congregation, 3820 Main St., in regard to a report of criminal damage.
Officers observed a shattered window and discovered both a broken stick and a “Freedom for Palestine” sign beneath the window, police said.
Lonnie Nasatir, head of the Jewish United Fund Chicago, acknowledged tensions are high in the Middle East, which has led to local protests. However, he says the hate crime was an act of intimidation.
The synagogue is a prominent house of worship in the local Persian Jewish community, whose members fled Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution, seeking religious and political freedom in the United States.
A bulletin from the local Community Security Network, a public safety organization within the Jewish community, was issued on Sunday, including the image above and describing the attack as having taken place at 12:18 p.m.
The Skokie Police Department confirmed to Breitbart News that there was an ongoing investigation, but would not comment further. The synagogue has not yet returned calls for comment, likely due to the ongoing Jewish holiday, which runs through Tuesday evening.
The holiday of Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah, the code of Jewish law. It also includes a public reading of the Ten Commandments. It is one of the three main pilgrimage holidays observed in ancient Israel.
Large pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel protests have been held in Chicago in recent days, as the Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, and Israel has responded with airstrikes on terrorist targets in Gaza.