Nazi symbols carved into Beverly Hills menorah on first night of Hanukkah

A Texas man was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of carving anti-Semitic Nazi symbols into the base of a large menorah in Beverly Hills.

According to the Beverly Hills Police Department, officers were called around 8 p.m. to a report of a person defacing a menorah near Sunset Boulevard and Foothill Road.

The suspect, identified Monday as Dallas resident Eric Brian King, 47, was caught on surveillance video showing him throwing objects at the menorah, police said.

Sunday was the first night of Hanukkah.

“The initial investigation found that King carved Nazi symbols into the base of the menorah,” police said. “He was charged with vandalism and hate crimes.”

Investigators are continuing to investigate the case and other charges are possible, police said.

“A heinous act like this will never be tolerated in our city,” said Police Commissioner Mark G. Stainbrook.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department jail records show King was arrested at 10:41 p.m. Sunday and was being held on $20,000 bail Monday.

Rabbi Noah Farkas, president and executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, said his organization is aware of the incident and is working with Beverly Hills officials and local law enforcement agencies “to ensure justice is done and future acts of hate are done.” possible are prevented.”

“It is unfortunate that we, as Jews, cannot even peacefully display our religion without being assailed by this disturbing surge of recent anti-Semitism locally and globally,” Farkas said. “We will not allow this act, or any act of hate, to prevent us from celebrating the miracle of Hanukkah and the joy of being Jewish. We will continue to live with pride and never allow an incident like this to dim our spirits.”

Hate crimes have risen in the past year to their highest level since 2002, according to a report released this month by the LA County Commission on Human Relations.

The report recorded 786 victims of hate crimes, a 23% increase from 2020. Of the 111 religious crimes in the report, three quarters targeted Jews.

Although the report doesn’t include data from 2022, experts say the trend is unlikely to have changed since last year.

According to Los Angeles Police Department data analyzed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, hate crimes in Los Angeles increased 12% in the first 10 months of this year compared to the same period in 2021. Hate crimes against Jews increased 13% from 71 to 80.

Brian Levin, the center’s director, said he expects hate crimes to continue to rise through 2023 as high-profile figures like Kanye West make openly anti-Semitic remarks online and in interviews. Two months ago, a hate group waved a banner on a 405 Freeway overpass in Los Angeles in support of the rapper’s comments.

“It’s not just the kind of anti-Semitic attack that happens now when someone wants to remain anonymous in a dark alley,” Levin said. “It’s an outrageous kind of anti-Semitism.” Nazi symbols carved into Beverly Hills menorah on first night of Hanukkah

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