As Jews across the globe begin to celebrate the Feast of Weeks, when the Torah was Divinely given on Mount Sinai, and we watch aggrieved that our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land are attacked with missile explosions, filled with shrapnel to pierce young and old, I reflect as well on the anti-Semitism abounding in South Florida. In Florida’s capital of anti-Semitism, Manatee County, adjacent to Sarasota, not a single official has condemned decades of Jew-hatred. Not a single official has intervened in the years and years of vandalism on/near Jewish Holy Days that have left this yard ransacked and littered immediately next door to our Heritage Village West Condominium clubhouse, office, library, outdoor recreational center, and pool, where the criminal acts can be viewed directly anytime of the day or night.
Taking our case, fully-documented, to court reaps even more classic anti-Semitic accusations, because, like Israeli Jews, this Jewish family is condemned for defending itself. In classic anti-Semitic fashion, we are labeled as abusive, vindictive, frivolous, bizarre, and a long list of other pejorative terms.
For 13 years, the condemnations of this Jewish family have persisted unchecked to the point that our recent court hearing by Zoom, controlled by the court, blackened our faces entirely and precluded all presentations of our exhibits on the screen to the judge, opposing counsels, and the public, whose faces were not blackened. In Manatee County, the Jews are told by officials that swastikas on the entrance to a beautiful complex are not anti-Semitic crimes because they can be cleaned off.
Is there anyone in Florida’s capital of anti-Semitism unwilling to keep the code of silence that impugns this entire county and state?
PUBLISHED 9:46 AM ET Nov. 05, 2019
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Residents in the Del Tierra neighborhood in Bradenton woke up Monday to swastikas and racial slurs drawn on structures.
- Racial slurs and swastikas on community’s front gate
- Residents believe teenagers used mulch to draw on the walls
- Neighbors helped clean up the vandalism
Some of the words were so offensive Spectrum Bay News 9 couldn’t show them on television.
Residents believe the person used mulch to draw hate symbols on the walls. They also have an idea of who they think may be responsible.
“Everyone’s mad. It’s a very…we’re under the impression it was probably teenagers,” Del Tierra resident Robin Nickel said. “I know it couldn’t possibly be an adult in my heart. I just can’t imagine that.”
The community does have security cameras, but neighbors said they weren’t working at the time. They plan to have them repaired to catch anyone on camera who plans to try something like this in the neighborhood again.
The neighbors stepped up to get the graffiti cleaned up.
According to our partners at the Bradenton Herald, the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t consider this vandalism because no damage was caused and the graffiti was cleaned up within five minutes of the discovery.
The members of the community want to clear up any misconceptions about the people who live here and what they will tolerate.
“It’s not indicative of our neighborhood. We are a very multicultural neighborhood. The thing that was really important to me was that the community acted immediately and cleaned it up themselves,” Nickel said.
A community determined to come together with images they say are meant to tear people apart.
©Beverly Newman. All rights reserved.