Swastikas pasted on Weiss’ office
A vandal Thursday morning glued drawings of swastikas and two anti-Semitic messages to the front of the Sherman Oaks office of Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss.
Epoxied to the glass front door were three 8 1/2 -by-11-inch sheets of paper, each showing the Nazi flag in color. Another sheet, glued above Weiss’ name on the door, contained a printed message: “Mein Fuhrer Die Office Official of Natziesque Extraordinaire.”
The final sheet contained a long message that began: “Our policy: we have no time to listen to Jewish American children!!! If you don’t believe us, just try talking to us.... Hail Weiss!”
A witness saw someone pasting the paper to the building about 6 a.m., LAPD Capt. Jim Miller said at a news conference in Sherman Oaks.
Miller said police had identified a suspect, but no arrest had been made as of Thursday evening. Miller and Weiss’ office said employees there had had previous contact with the individual, but no other details were provided.
While denouncing the attack, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said that “there seems to be some indication of some Internet activity associated with it.”
Weiss, who is Jewish, said LAPD Chief William J. Bratton called him Thursday morning to tell him about the vandalism. At the time, Weiss was meeting with officials in the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles to discuss anti-terrorism strategies the city could adopt from Israel.
“As hateful as it is to me ... these messages and symbols are so grotesquely insensitive and demeaning to the memories of those who actually experienced these symbols in their real lives, and that’s why they are still used as messages of hate and intimidation,” Weiss said.
The councilman said he believed the messages were intended to intimidate him and his staff. “I won’t be intimidated, my office and my staff won’t be intimidated, and we will continue going about our official duties on behalf of the citizens of Los Angeles.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, traveling on a trade mission to Central America and Mexico, also issued a statement, calling on all residents to condemn the attack.
The mayor said the anti-Semitic signs “serve as a tragic reminder that racism, prejudice and intolerance still exist in our city.... We must not allow these acts to go unanswered. We must not return to a time when people live in fear of being attacked for the color of their skin or the religion they practice.”
Miller said a suspect would probably be charged with felony vandalism with a hate crime enhancement that would make time in prison likely.
Anti-Defamation League officials at the news conference provided a list of other recent anti-Semitic incidents in the area. They included the vandalizing of a synagogue in Tarzana last summer and several other incidents in which swastikas had been painted on residences in the San Fernando Valley.
The district that Weiss represents is heavily Jewish and includes the communities of Encino, Sherman Oaks and Valley Village in the San Fernando Valley and the Fairfax district, Century City, Westwood and Cheviot Hills. Weiss is a vocal supporter of Israel and has close ties to the Jewish community.
Weiss said he had not personally experienced such harassment during his nearly six years on the council.
“In this line of work you encounter irate people every once in a while, but nothing that looks like this,” he said.