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LAPD launches hate crime investigation after Canter's Deli is vandalized with antisemitic graffitti

Antisemitic graffiti painted underneath mural at Canter's Deli
Antisemitic graffiti painted underneath mural at Canter's Deli 02:39

The Los Angeles Police Department has launched a hate crime investigation after antisemitic messages were spray painted onto a wall next to the historic Canter's Deli.

Officers responded to the iconic restaurant in the 400 block of North Fairfax Avenue at about 10:40 a.m. where messages like "Free Gaza," "How many dead in the name of greed?" and "Israel's only religion is capitalism" covered the black walls underneath a mural honoring the Jewish community. 

"Thankfully, the murals themselves were not defaced," said Richard Hirschhaut, regional director at the American Jewish Committee. "This vitriolic, ugly graffiti was scrawled below and the message was heard, and the message was felt as yet another gut punch to the Jewish community."

In a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, the Anti-Defamation League decried the vandalism and described the incident as "heinous."

"If anyone has information that will help ensure the people who committed this crime are brought to justice, please contact law enforcement," said Jeffrey Abrams, regional director of ADL Los Angeles. 

Police have not arrested a suspect and a description of who investigators are searching for was not immediately available. 

The graffiti was quickly covered up with black paint after police launched their investigation. 

"We will pursue those responsible for this unacceptable rash of hate and hold them fully accountable," Mayor Karen Bass said. "We will continue to collaborate with the Los Angeles Police Department to not only respond to these anti-Semitic acts but also to prevent these acts of hate from occurring in the first place."  

Antisemitic messages have popped up across the L.A. area as the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza intensifies. One message was spray-painted onto a Holocaust survivor's apartment building.

Last week, a man broke into a Jewish family's home in Studio City while threatening to kill them. He shouted "Free Palestine and "brown people matter" during the terrifying early morning ordeal.

-Lauren Pozen contributed reporting.

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