Hanukkah: Man arrested for vandalizing Beverly Hills menorah

The suspect, identified as Dallas resident Eric Brian King, was recorded in surveillance videos throwing objects at a large menorah. 

 The National Menorah is illuminated after a lighting ceremony to mark the start of Chanukah on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, US, December 2, 2018 (photo credit: REUTERS/YURI GRIPAS)
The National Menorah is illuminated after a lighting ceremony to mark the start of Chanukah on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, US, December 2, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/YURI GRIPAS)

A man was arrested in Beverly Hills, California Sunday after carving a Nazi symbol into a large hanukkiah (menorah) on the first night of Hanukkah, according to the city's police department.

The suspect, identified as Dallas, Texas resident Eric Brian King, was recorded in surveillance videos throwing objects at a large menorah, which he also carved Nazi symbols into. 

He was promptly arrested and is facing charges of felony vandalism and a hate crime.

Police did not clarify what kind of Nazi symbols were carved, but a statement from Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse claimed it was an SS sign.

 Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Bosse herself is Jewish, with her mother being a survivor of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust. Speaking to ABC News, Bosse said "I was very angry and I was determined to immediately catch this despicable person."

According to Bosse, the menorah belongs to a Jewish family of Iranian descent.

On the second night of Hanukkah, the city held a large public menorah lighting celebration for Hanukkah.

"Tonight, we came together as a community for our Menorah Lighting Celebration," Bosse tweeted. "Let’s never forget how important it is that light overcomes all darkness and that we will continue to stand strong together as we celebrate the holidays."

Antisemitism is on the rise across the US

This incident comes amid rising antisemitism throughout the US, something US President Joe Biden condemned at a recent Hanukkah reception at the White House.

Antisemitism is similarly on the rise throughout the world. 

Hanukkah is also one of the most visible Jewish holidays, with a major part of the holiday being the publicization of the mitzva, such as by lighting candles in public.