The police in Philadelphia found about 100 toppled headstones at a Jewish cemetery on Sunday, less than one week after a similar discovery was made in Missouri.
Responding to a report of vandalism at the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in northeastern Philadelphia, the police said a man told them that three headstones belonging to his relatives had been knocked over and damaged.
Officers said they counted about 100 damaged headstones, which were most likely toppled sometime Saturday night. They did not say if they had identified suspects or a motive.
The episode drew almost immediate comparison to a similar discovery last Monday in University City, Mo., where more than 150 headstones were toppled at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. Also on Monday, 11 bomb scares were called into Jewish community centers nationwide, the fourth wave of such threats this year. A community center in Philadelphia was among those targeted in the first round.
State and local officials denounced the destruction at the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery, describing it as an act of vandalism.
“We are doing all we can to find the perpetrators who desecrated this final resting place, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “Hate is not permissible in Philadelphia.”
Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer/AP