A promotional poster featuring Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a New York City subway station was grossly defaced with a swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti this week. The New York City police department is now investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman to serve on the Supreme Court. The poster was defaced with a swastika drawn over Ginsburg’s face. The words “Die, Jew” and other profanity were written on the poster with a black marker.
The poster advertised the 2018 release of the pictorial history book “The Unstoppable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: American Icon,” which commemorated the jurist’s 25-year anniversary on the high court. It was posted on the wall at the Nassau Ave. stop on the G line subway in a section of Brooklyn known as Greenpoint.
A commuter noticed the graffiti and reported it to authorities. Subway officials quickly removed the vandalized poster after the police investigated.
Following up with an update: that offensive imagery was reported yesterday, and our crews removed it immediately after NYPD had collected evidence for its investigation. Again, we regret that our customers were exposed to this hate speech, and thank you for notifying us. ^JLP pic.twitter.com/KlZkERBD6k
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) March 13, 2019
Hate crime investigation
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is reportedly cooperating and assisting in that investigation, including sharing any available surveillance video footage that may help identify and locate the perpetrator. “We have zero tolerance for hate and violence, and this is a horrendous example that has no place anywhere,” said agency spokesman Shams Tarek in a statement.
NYC’s liberal mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in with a tweet that declared, “We’ll find whoever is responsible for this anti-Semitic trash and ensure they face consequences for trying to spread hate in New York City.”
Anti-Semitism on the rise
Unfortunately, this incident is merely the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidences in New York City that involve other acts of vandalism, as well as acts of violence against innocent Jewish individuals.
In fact, of the 86 reported hate crimes in NYC thus far this year, 52 were of the anti-Semitic variety, significantly more than the 32 anti-Semitic crimes reported by this point in 2018.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2018 were reportedly 22 percent higher than they had been the year prior.
De Blasio speaks out
During an anti-Semitism rally at the Brooklyn’s Kingsway Jewish Center last month, De Blasio condemned anti-Semitism and promised to punish hate:
I want to give this message loud and clear to anyone who has hatred in their heart and they’re thinking of going out and scrawling something on a subway or a front door, they’re thinking of attacking an individual because of what they’re wearing or because of the language they speak: If you do that, we will find you. We will arrest you and you will go to prison. Period.
The mayor also spoke up in support of the state of Israel and denounced the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, which is openly supported by several Democrats in Congress.
“Democrats and Republicans with equal fervor need to say – Israel must exist so the Jewish people know they are always protected,” he said. “And maybe some people don’t realize it, but when they support the BDS movement, they are affronting the right of Israel to exist and that is unacceptable.”