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Israeli Flag Vandalized at Maryland Synagogue

On Sunday morning, officials from Temple Beth Ami on Travilah Road in Rockville were met by a disconcerting sight, when they arrived for a program and found a sign that has stood for years defaced by red spray paint in an attempt to replace “Israel” with “Palestine.”

Officials expressed that they are “grateful to live in a nation which enshrines free speech,” but made note that what happened over the weekend is not, by definition, free speech.

They had sharp words for the vandals in a social media post made after the discovery of the flag.

“Those who defaced our signs are not interested in dialogue or debate,” they said. “If they were, they would know, that like them, we also mourn for every innocent life lost – Palestinian and Israeli. 

No details about a possible suspect has been released, but the police are investigating the possible hate crime. 

Not to be deterred, synagogue officials said that they have every intention of putting up a new sign as soon as possible.

“Vandalism is not free speech, it is a crime, and an attempt to intimidate our congregation. It has already failed,” they said.

“We will continue to unashamedly articulate the values of our congregation, which include our commitment to Zionism – the desire and indeed the right of the Jewish people to live free in our ancient homeland, in peace with her neighbors.”