SANTA MONICA, California — An antisemitic mural on the side of the Vortex community center in downtown Los Angeles was found defaced on Wednesday morning, the day after it was condemned by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The mural depicts the Grim Reaper wrapped in an American flag in which some of the five-pointed stars have been replaced by six-pointed Stars of David, which are popularly recognized as Jewish symbols. The Grim Reaper holds a missile and a dead baby. According to Aaron Bandler of the Jewish Journal, “A Los Angeles artist known as Vyal Reyes appeared to take credit for the mural on his Instagram account in January 2018.” The Vortex had earlier told the Journal that the mural was painted several years ago as part of an anti-war message, and refused to remove it.
Mayor Garcetti — the city’s first Jewish mayor — condemned the mural Tuesday. Others called for the mural to be taken down by the Vortex.
TAKE DOWN THIS DISGUSTING Anti-Semitic Mural in downtown Los Angeles on the walls of Vortex, a multi-use community center. This mural is a “shameful act of anti-Semitism,” according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. https://t.co/3D8Pq1Lq3s
— Roz Rothstein (@RozRothstein) February 27, 2019
This mural at the Vortex in LA crosses a line. We call for its removal. For a venue that purports to welcome the community, the Vortex should join us in condemning hateful imagery that invokes anti-Semitic canards conflating Jews with death, snakes, bombs, and killing babies. pic.twitter.com/aMqt4hQDn3
— ADL Los Angeles (@LA_ADL) February 26, 2019
When Breitbart News arrived on the scene at approximately 6:50 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the mural had been defaced with a splash of white paint, with the words, “No Place for Hate” painted in red and yellow.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.