An attack on a Jewish cemetery in Waukegan, Illinois includes the painting of swastikas on headstones and the words “Kanye was rite,” presumably referring to rapper, artist, and designer Kanye West who recently was exposed and disgraced for his antisemitic remarks.
“The horrific discovery was made early Monday morning at Am Echod Cemetery on Grand Avenue,” FOX 32 reports. “Waukegan police said red swastikas were spray-painted on at least 16 tombstones. Police said 23 other headstones were defaced.”
Last month VICE reported on leaked footage edited from an interview Fox News‘ Tucker Carlson had with Kanye West, also known as “Ye,” revealing the artist had made antisemitic and racist remarks, and noting he had threatened in a tweet he was going to go “death con 3” on “JEWISH PEOPLE.”
The antisemitic attack in Illinois echoes an anti-Semitic group’s display last month of banners on a highway overpass that read: “Honk if you know Kanye is right about the Jews.”
Larry Yellen, whose parents are buried in the century-old Waukegan cemetery, said, “My immediate thought is with my parents and how angry they would be.”
“My father lost at least four aunts in the Holocaust, his family was from Poland. They know more than anyone what a swastika means,” Yellen added.
He explained the human toll of the attack.
“They have defaced the gravestone of somebody who fought bravely in World War II through 50 missions in a B17 as a bombardier. They have defaced the gravestone of his wife who raised five children and all went through the Waukegan school system,” Yellen told FOX 32. “I think they need to know a little bit about the people that they have attacked in such degrading form.”
On November 3, Illinois Democratic State Rep. Bob Morgan responded to a CNN report of an FBI warning of “credible information of a broad threat to synagogues” in New Jersey.
“The Anti-S[e]mitism spewed by @kanyewest, the former President, and others is not just ‘words’ – it inspires violence,” he wrote.
On Monday he added: “Kanye West spewed disgusting anti-Semitism, not worried about the damage he would cause. Today we learned Jewish gravestones were vandalized with ‘Kanye Was Rite’ graffiti in Waukegan.”
David Goldenberg, regional director of ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Midwest, told FOX 32, “The desecration of graves is as low as it gets, and by the way, it’s also as cowardly as it gets.”
“Let’s be clear, they should illicit a visceral reaction. It is hateful, anti-Semitic and they’re dangerous because they can cause these types of real life acts,” Goldenberg added.
“What it really represents is this normalization of antisemitism, and that is what we find to be incredibly concerning,” Goldenberg told ABC7 Chicago.
Waukegan Mayor Ann B. Taylor, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, and other local officials also have condemned the attack.
Watch ABC 7’s report below or at this link.