Officials investigating 'Trump' and 'MAGA' graffiti at Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids


  • Anti-Defamation League

Hours before President Donald Trump returned to Grand Rapids for his final campaign stop, someone wrote "TRUMP" and "MAGA" in red spray paint on tombstones in a local Jewish cemetery.

The graffiti was discovered on Monday morning at Ahavas Israel Cemetery. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the vandalism is being investigated by law enforcement.

"We are appalled by the reported desecration of gravestones at the Ahavas Israel Cemetery in Grand Rapids, MI," they wrote on Twitter. "We are in close touch with the Jewish community and Law Enforcement to investigate this vandalism."

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, the Palestinian-American Republican-turned-Libertarian Congressman whose district includes Grand Rapids, condemned the graffiti on Twitter.

"We stand united with our Jewish friends and neighbors against this disgusting act of vandalism, desecration, and hate toward our fellow human beings," he wrote. "Anti-Semitism must find no home in our community."

But Ahavas Israel rabbi David J.B. Krishef said it was not clear if the vandalism was anti-Semitic.

“"It's Halloween weekend, there was nothing spray-painted that indicated anything specifically anti-Semitic," Krishef told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Monday. "Whoever did this may or may not have known that this was a Jewish cemetery."

Last year, someone plastered anti-Semitic posters on the door of the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Grand Rapids. The posters were credited to the neo-Nazi group Vorherrschaft Division, and had messages like a picture of Hitler with the words "Did you forget about me?" and "A crusade against Semite led subhumans."

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.