St. Louis, MO, May 29 2018 … The Anti-Defamation (ADL) today welcomed the arrest and prosecution of a man in connection with the swastika vandalism at the Sunset Hills Cemetery as a possible hate crime in addition to institutional vandalism.
“We stand with the Southern Illinois community and send support to the families of those individuals whose family gravestones were desecrated and whose property was damaged,” shared regional director Karen Aroesty. “ADL thanks all law enforcement representatives and community members in Edwardsville, Glen Carbon and Madison County for their responsiveness. The swastika is a universal calling card of hate, which is why it was so disturbing to see hundreds of them spray-painted on headstones. This unconscionable attack, while not targeting a Jewish cemetery, is starkly reminiscent of similar attacks against Jews in America and Europe and we appreciate that authorities have sent a message that this type of attack is unacceptable on anyone in society.”
ADL has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate motivated criminal activity. In 2015, ADL launched a campaign to improve legal response to hate crime in the US. 50 States Against Hate: An Initiative for Stronger Hate Crime Laws works toward the passage of hate crime laws in the five states which do not have them – Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Wyoming – while simultaneously seeking to make hate crime laws in the other 45 states more inclusive and comprehensive.
ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. The St. Louis office covers Missouri, Eastern Kansas and Southern Illinois. More at www.adl.org.