Todd Starnes / Aug. 15, 2015

Pastor Defends Texas Jewish Neighborhood After Night of Terror

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says they have identified at least one person they believe is responsible for terrorizing a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in San Antonio. Dozens of homes and cars were vandalized August 12 with anti-Semitic graffiti and rocks. Swastikas were spray-painted on Jewish memorials, the letters “KKK” and other racially charged language. The word “Jew” was plastered across an SUV. The attack has been classified as a hate crime but so far no formal charges have been filed, police said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says they have identified at least one person they believe is responsible for terrorizing a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in San Antonio.

Dozens of homes and cars were vandalized August 12 with anti-Semitic graffiti and rocks. Swastikas were spray-painted on Jewish memorials, the letters “KKK” and other racially charged language. The word “Jew” was plastered across an SUV.

The attack has been classified as a hate crime but so far no formal charges have been filed, police said.

“This is not just graffiti, this is an orchestrated effort to try to intimidate an entire community of people based on their religious beliefs and we cannot stand for it,” State Sen. Jose Menedez said in a prepared statement to MySanAntonio.com.

The attack targeted members of Congregation Rodfei Sholom, an Orthodox synagogue which serves some 300 families. Rabbi Arieh Scheinberg tells me that many of the families live nearby so they can walk to synagogue on the Sabbath.

“We are very openly Jewish in that community,” he said — stunned that someone would desecrate a Jewish neighborhood. “We’ve never had any problems in the past.”

The attack prompted swift action from two of the nation’s most prominent supporters of Israel — Christians United for Israel and John Hagee — the pastor of San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church.

“An attack on the Jewish community should be considered an attack on the Christian community,” Hagee told me. “I came immediately to the rabbi’s office to stand with him expressing my solidarity with his congregation and the Jewish community of San Antonio.”

The attack infuriated the mega-church pastor and he called on the anti-Semites to turn themselves in — “Because we are going to find you.”

“Any time there is this kind of hateful act toward our citizens, Christians and Jews are going to unite and continue to press the issue until we have complete resolution,” Hagee said. “We are going to stand very forcefully — right now. We want to send a message — this is not going to be tolerated — not paint, not bricks tomorrow, not blood later. It stops right here and it stops dead in its tracks.”

Rabbi Scheinberg said he was grateful for Pastor Hagee’s friendship and the support of CUFI.

“They have been a global source of inspiration and encouragement to the Jewish people,” the rabbi told me. “To imagine that a world leader like John Hagee would stop his busy schedule to be with us and to give support…”

Folks who live in the neighborhood are busy trying to repair the damage and wash away the hateful messages. But in spite of the attack, Rabbi Scheinberg said his congregation remains steadfast.

“As Jews — we are used to not being intimidated by any type of assault,” he told me. “We know that the best thing we could do is continue — and this Sabbath I believe we will have more people than in many weeks before.”

Good will overcome evil, the rabbi said. Love will overpower hatred.

And as Congregation Rodfei Sholom worships God on Saturday — they can do so knowing that the FBI, the Texas Rangers and Pastor John Hagee have their back.


Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

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