Hanover police need help identifying possible menorah vandals – The Union Leader

Posted By on December 27, 2020

The police investigation into the vandalism of a menorah display at Dartmouth College continues to gain steam while New Hampshire Jewish leaders see a continued problem of anti-Semitism.

Hanover police Lt. Scott Rathburn said two young men have been identified through a witness statement and surveillance video taken by cameras set up by a downtown store.

We believe the two people you see, one is carrying a thin, long item, which could be a pellet gun, Rathburn said.

Last week, the large electric menorah near the Dartmouth Common in front of Dartmouth Chabad House had seven of its nine lights shot out with a BB gun. Chabad Rabbi Moshe Leib Gray said some of the lights had been shot multiple times.

Jewish Federation of New Hampshire board member Dina Michael Chaitowitz said her organization was outraged and saddened by the incident, saying it is in keeping with a growing acceptance of anti-Semitism in New Hampshire.

The hateful and destructive anti-Semitic incident was deeply disturbing, not only because it is indicative of rising anti-Semitism indeed, rising intolerance in general in our society, but because it occurred at a time when the world needs light and during a holiday (Chanukah) that celebrates the dispelling of darkness, Chaitowitz said.

Chaitowitz cited statistics compiled by the Anti-Defamation League that shows a rise in anti-Semitism in the region and throughout the country.

The Anti-Defamation League reports that assault, harassment and vandalism against Jews are at near-historic levels in the United States, Chaitowitz said. It is important to remember just how recent the deadly attacks at the synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway were.

The ADL reports that cases of anti-Semitic and other hate incidents continue to increase in New Hampshire.

White supremacist propaganda in the Granite State increased in 2020, from 43 incidents so far in 2020 compared with 29 in 2019 and three in 2018. The total hate incidents in New Hampshire is at 50 incidents in 2020, compared with 2019s 34. Reported hate crimes have gone from 13 in 2018 to 16 in 2019.

Rathburn said the Hanover Police investigation has so far listed the incident as possibly bias-based, though it is impossible to know yet if this was a hate attack.

Its hard to say when you cant have the person tell you what the motivation was, Rathburn said.

Rathburn said there are reports of other BB gun damage at buildings near the Chabad House that took place around the same time as the menorah incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hanover police at 643-2222.{/div}

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Hanover police need help identifying possible menorah vandals - The Union Leader

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