Nazi swastika found inside State Department building

The ‘hateful graffiti’ was quickly removed

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 28 July 2021 00:17
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<p>US Chile</p>

US Chile

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Secretary of State Tony Blinken said an investigation would be launched after a swastika was found etched on the wall of a State Department elevator.

Quoting a person familiar with the matter, Axios first reported the Nazi symbol was found near the office of the State Department’s special envoy monitoring and combating antisemitism at its Washington DC headquarters.

An image showed the crud representation seemingly carved into the siding of “elevator 36”, which is within a secured area of the government building that requires vetting and clearances.

State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter confirmed reports the swastika had been found, according to a transcript of a press briefing that posted online late Tuesday.

In a memo to staff on Tuesday, Mr Blinken condemned the “hateful graffiti” that has since been removed following its discovery.

"As this painfully reminds us, antisemitism isn’t a relic of the past. It’s still a force in the world, including close to home. And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it,” Mr Blinken said.

“To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues.”

Mr Blinken, who is Jewish, announced during a Holocaust awareness ceremony in June a US-German programme to educate the public about the Nazis.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said in a statement to The New York Times, the swastika was “a serious incident of anti-Semitic vandalism”.

“[It] once again shows that antisemitism does not distinguish between Jews in Israel and Jews in America, and harms not only Israel but the entire world,” the statement said.

“We must fight together resolutely against anti-Semitism of any kind … and bring to justice anyone who acts out of hatred for the Jewish people.”

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