Last weekend, Ari and Shoshana Simones returned to their Phoenix, AZ home to find anti-Semitic graffiti on their mailbox and fence.
“We’re not going to let this frighten us,” Shoshana told the Arizona Republic.
“I mean, we’re angry and offended and disheartened, but we’re not scared and we’re not ashamed and we’re proud to be Jews,” she told the newspaper. “We’re not gonna be afraid, we’re not gonna back down, and it’s important people still feel comfortable and proud being who they are whatever religion or minority they are.”
Anti-Semitism is one the rise nationally and specifically in Arizona.
“In 2016, there was a 34% year-over-year increase in anti-Semitic incidents including assault, harassment and vandalism across the country, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The first quarter of this year has seen an 86% jump in incidents,” the Arizona Republic reported. “In Arizona, there were four reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 and 10 in 2016. In the first quarter of this year there were 14, according to the ADL.”
“We want people to be educated, people who do this (vandalism) are ignorant and hateful,” Shoshona told Havasu News. “The best way to combat this is with teaching people and showing the community that this does happen, and it’s not OK.”
Phoenix police have an open investigation into the incident.
Watch local TV coverage of the swastika graffiti hate speech: