LOS ANGELES (JTA) -- Police in California are investigating as hate crimes the posting of anti-Israel and pro-Hamas placards at two synagogues.

Three letter-sized, hand-written signs were discovered Tuesday at Beth Jacob, an Orthodox congregation in Irvine, Calif. One poster proclaimed, "Gaza-- The New Shoah" and a second read, "Hamas Recognizes Israeli Genocide."

Similar posters were found on the same day at the nearby Reform Congregation Shir Ha-Ma'alot.

Kevin O'Grady, Orange County regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, condemned the "targeting of temples to express anger toward Israeli action in Gaza."

Knoxville incidents

(DSJV) -- In Knoxville, Tenn., both local synagogues were vandalized during the past week.

According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, four of six stained glass windows were broken by thrown rocks at Temple Beth El, and rocks were also thrown at Heska Amuna Synagogue but did little more than chip the windows. While timing is not known, speculation is that it happened on Thursday night.

None of the other dozen religious institutions in the immediate vicinity was vandalized.

The Secure Communities Network, which monitors threats to local Jewish communities nationally, also reported an unconfirmed vandalism of a billboard promoting a well-known Jewish-owned business in Knoxville.

This is reportedly the first such incident against Knoxville's Jewish institutions in at least 50 years.


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