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Anti-Hamas billboard in Worcester vandalized, message reversed

Anti-Hamas billboard in Worcester vandalized with statement about Israel
Anti-Hamas billboard in Worcester vandalized with statement about Israel 02:10


WORCESTER - A billboard with an anti-Hamas message in central Massachusetts was found vandalized Christmas morning with a statement about Israel.

The billboard on Route 290 west in Worcester originally read, "Let's be clear: Hamas is your problem too." It now says, "Let's be clear: Hamas is freeing Palestine" with an added footnote reading, "Israel murdered 25,000 people."

The vandalized billboard on Route 290 West in Worcester on December 25, 2023. CBS Boston

"Good versus evil, that's what it's all about, good versus evil," Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, the director of central Massachusetts Chabad, told WBZ-TV. "These are people who are promoting killing of Jews, that's what they're doing when they do stuff like that."

According to the Jewish Federation of central Massachusetts, the billboard was originally put up as part of a "JewBelong" campaign, a nationwide program meant to stop antisemitism.

"Hamas is a terrorist organization and it is outrageous and alarming to see pro-terrorist vandals in America," a JewBelong spokesperson said in a statement to WBZ Tuesday. "JewBelong believes in the goal of peace for Palestinian and Israeli people and is deeply troubled that terrorists are standing in the way of that peace."

In a Facebook post, the federation is "asking that swift action is taken."  Fogelman said antisemitism has been on the rise since the war started October 7.

"You see what's going on in Harvard, you see what's going on in all the other colleges, you see what's going on throughout the whole country and it's unfortunate but that's the situation," said Fogelman. "It would be nice to see if the colleges would do something like fire those presidents and to set a message clear. And those students should get in trouble too."

WBZ reached out to the Palestinian Community of Boston Monday but did not hear back. There has been no comment from Massachusetts State Police which has jurisdiction over the highway.

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