NY beach club vandalized with antisemitic graffiti

“You can gloss it over. You can talk about it being a prank, but it’s much more than a prank,” Harold Bretstein told the New York Times.

Swastika grafitti (illustrative) 150 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Swastika grafitti (illustrative) 150
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The members of the Silver Gull Beach Club in Queens, New York were shocked when the club notified them that the playground would be closed. The New York Times reported that club management said the closure was “due to the recent and increasing incidence of vandalism from within the club.”
Members quickly heard that the playground was covered in antisemitic and racist graffiti including racial slurs against black people, a red swastika, the words "Heil Hitler," The Times reported. Additionally, The Times published a photo of a door with the words "gas chamber" smeared on it in red paint.
New York has seen an increase in hate crimes, and according to the NYPD, as of June 2, 2019, the number of reported antisemitic crimes rose from 58 in 2018 to 110 in 2019.
Some Silver Gull members spoke with The Times, including Harold Bretstein, who is the son of Holocaust survivors.
“You can gloss it over. You can talk about it being a prank, but it’s much more than a prank, especially in terms of the times we’re living in when you’re seeing a rise in antisemitism everywhere,” Bretstein told The Times.
Michelle Freedman, whose mother survived the Holocaust told The Times, “We cannot sweep this under the rug, we have to acknowledge when these things happen and all the members of the club need to know the club doesn’t tolerate racism or antisemitism."
According to The Times, some members were upset that the club's manager had not condemned the graffiti.