A Max Rose campaign sign was defaced with a swastika in West Brighton, just feet away from a local temple.
The swastika, drawn in black ink beside the word “No!” runs through the name of the former congressman, who is Jewish. It was discovered by a neighborhood resident near the corner of Forest Avenue and Hart Boulevard, located close to Temple Israel Reform Congregation.
Rose, who has been a vocal fighter of domestic antisemitism, said the swastika is a symptom of the nation’s divisiveness and vowed to leave the sign in its place.
“I’m sick and tired of this disgusting threat in our society — this division and this hate and this vitriol — people being hidden from it,” Rose told the Advance/SILive.com. “People need to see what we could become if we don’t come together and unite and put the flag first, so no — we’re not taking it down.”
Rose’s sign was found in the same neighborhood where campaign signs were previously vandalized with racial slurs.
Last year, a West Brighton man was charged after North Shore City Council candidates Kelvin Richards and Ranti Ogunleye had their campaign signs covered with racist scrawls.
Rose noted antisemitism “is not a Staten Island-specific problem,” adding, “our politics are going in a horrible direction.”
“But in the end, what I’m going to do is keep my head held high. I’m not going to respond to hate with more disgusting vitriol, and I’m going to continue giving everything I have for this community, for the city and for this country,” said Rose, “in service of the Constitution and in service of our neighbors. It’s the same thing I did in Afghanistan. It’s the same thing I’m doing here, no matter how much hate and lies they throw at me.”
Rose is running for his former seat in Congress against current Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn)