Swastikas drawn in University of Missouri dorm

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets were written in a stairwell of a dormitory at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The two incidents occurred on the morning of April 9 and the evening of April 10. No suspects have been identified.

The writing was done in ash, such as from the end of a cigarette or a cigar, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The vandalism has been removed.

Neither the university nor police have released the contents of the epithets. University of Missouri police are investigating the incidents.

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Chantelle Moghadam, co-founder of Students Supporting Israel, a new campus student organization, said in a statement that the graffiti included “a swastika, a symbol representing the ‘Illuminati,’ and the words ‘Heil’ and ‘You’ve been warned.’

“Our group wants to continue to bring awareness to campus about the fact that anti-Semitism still exists here,” Moghadam said.

She said the graffiti did not just target Jews.

“This goes to show that maybe we’re not as progressive and inclusive as we think we are as a campus,” she said.

Thalia Sass, president of the Jewish Student Organization, told the student newspaper, The Maneater, that it was difficult to be Jewish on campus during such incidents.

“I’m so proud to flaunt my Jewish identity, but when incidents like this happen, it’s scary,” said Sass, a junior. “This person doesn’t know me, but they hate me just because of the single aspect that I’m Jewish.”

Rabbi Avraham Lapine, director of Chabad at Mizzou, said in an emailed statement he was saddened to hear about the graffiti.

“It is particularly disconcerting that this reprehensible incident occurred as we celebrated the Passover Holiday in a joyous and inclusive manner, and just a week before Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he said.

“When we are faced with this type of darkness, there can only be one response: increasing the light. We will not be bullied or intimidated. On the contrary, we will in fact intensify our activities on campus aimed at increasing knowledge and pride in our Jewish heritage.”