Obama Volunteer Arrested For Vandalizing NYC Synagogue With Anti-Semitic Statements, Police Say

NYPD Handout/Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

The New York City Police Department arrested a Democratic activist on Friday night for allegedly vandalizing a synagogue in New York City with vile anti-Semitic messages. This comes just days after 11 people were murdered at a Pittsburgh synagogue in what was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

Authorities arrested 26-year-old James Polite, a former volunteer on Obama's first presidential campaign, for allegedly vandalizing Brooklyn’s Union Temple on Thursday with anti-Semitic messages that included "die Jew rats we are here," "Jews better be ready," and "Hitler."

Polite interned with Christine C. Quinn, the former Democratic Speaker of the New York City Council, for several years and worked "on initiatives to combat hate crime[s]," The New York Times reported in 2017.

The DCNF reviewed Polite's Facebook and determined that it was the same James Polite profiled by The New York Times.

According to the DCNF, Polite wrote a post this week that stated: "A dream with eyes wide open. civil war is here. Nobody gotta die. Mexico, latin America, carribean vs. Jew n***er pigs. One person touch me this whole shit a smoking."

Polite also "posted a cell-phone picture of a burning American flag, with the caption 'Sometimes things take a lil heat to grow,'" the DCNF's report added. "Police suspect him of setting fires at 'seven shuls and yeshivas in Williamsburg' that same night, before the temple vandalism. Security footage captured that, too."

A report this week from The New York Times revealed that "contrary to what are surely the prevailing assumptions, anti-Semitic incidents have constituted half of all hate crimes in New York this year, according to the Police Department. To put that figure in context, there have been four times as many crimes motivated by bias against Jews — 142 in all — as there have against blacks. Hate crimes against Jews have outnumbered hate crimes targeted at transgender people by a factor of 20."

"If anti-Semitism bypasses consideration as a serious problem in New York, it is to some extent because it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy," The New York Times' report added. "During the past 22 months, not one person caught or identified as the aggressor in an anti-Semitic hate crime has been associated with a far right-wing group, Mark Molinari, commanding officer of the police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, told me."

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