L.A. police are investigating a possible hate crime after antisemitic graffiti was found in the parking lot of an iconic Jewish delicatessen in the Fairfax District Wednesday morning, authorities confirmed to KTLA.
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to the 400 block of Fairfax Avenue at around 10:40 a.m. on reports of the hateful messages sprayed across the building.
A photograph of the graffiti in the Canters Deli parking lot showed three different areas beneath a mural depicting Jewish history in L.A. defaced with phrases that read, “Israels only religion is capitalism,” “How many dead in the name of greed?” and “Free Gaza.”
Sandie Sampson-Stellavato and her husband Chris had come to Canters for some comfort and and were disturbed to learn that that landmark had been the victim of a possible hate crime.
“There’s so much antisemitism and hatred in this world and it’s very frightening,” Sandie told KTLA’s Samantha Cortese.
“We live in a divided world and divided country where we are pitted against each other for politics and now religion,” Chris said. “That’s never good.”
Investigators are looking into other reports of vandalism nearby. Across from the deli, at the Chabad-Atara’s Judaica, “Free Gaza” can be seen tagged on plywood all the way down Fairfax Avenue.
“It’s abhorrent,” said Dr. Martha Johnson, a Canters patron. “It’s just unacceptable. It’s just hideous, we can’t live like that. It’s such a great place to eat. It makes me sad. There’s so much hate in the country. We can’t live with this level of hate.”
“Vandalizing and targeting synagogues, Jewish neighborhoods and a mural about local Jewish history on the wall of the iconic Canter’s Deli on Fairfax [Avenue] is heinous and antisemitic. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating these incidents as hate crimes. If anyone has information that will help ensure the people who committed this crime are brought to justice, please contact law enforcement.”
One of the oldest delis in California, Canters is a third-generation family-run business.
“Canters Deli is a place of solace and they come for the old-fashioned Jewish food that reminds them of their past,” a history of the deli on the website reads.