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Jewish Organization’s Billboard Vandalized in Michigan

“Free Palestine” was spray-painted over a billboard condemning antisemitism on northbound I-75 in Detroit. 

The billboard is sponsored by the national Jewish cultural organization, JewBelong. The graffiti was accompanied by a Palestinian flag and posted to the Instagram page of TCD Dearborn News, receiving a lot of attention. 

“To degrade, to graffiti a poster, a billboard about the holocaust is just unacceptable,” said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, a key leader in the Jewish community.

The billboard said, “We’re just 78 years since the gas chambers. So no, a billboard calling out Jew hate isn’t an overreaction.”

When FOX 2 Detroit drove up to I-75, the billboard and graffiti were no longer visible. But, the controversial tagging was captured in a post on the Instagram page for TCD Dearborn News.

“Wherever you are, whether in Detroit, whether I’m in Ann Arbor – wherever you are, we have to learn as a country to have disagreements as passionate as we are, but in a civil and respectful way,” Asher said.

JewBelong is a non-profit that it provides support for Jews and those curious about the Jewish religion and culture, according to its website.

The billboard makes no mention of the ongoing and tense war in Gaza, but the graffiti of “Free Palestine” changed that – until the whole thing was covered up.

“People have disagreements about Gaza and the war and everything. So, put up your own billboard if you want that expresses your opinion,” Asher said. “But let’s show some show some civility. Let’s show, certainly, some sensitivity to the holocaust, to the Jewish community that has suffered so much.”

JewBelong and Outfront Media, the company that hosts such billboards, did not respond for comment.