Is this graffiti anti-Semitic or anti-violence?

Is this graffiti anti-Semitic or anti-violence?
Community Newspaper Group / Sylvan Migdal

Some sicko wrote, “Geese first, Jews next,” on an emergency call box in Park Slope over the weekend — but it’s unclear whether the vandalism is an anti-Semitic call for violence or a sincere attempt to link this summer’s federal goose extermination to one of history’s greatest atrocities.

The vandalism, which appeared at Prospect Park West and Second Street, invokes the gassing of some 300 geese in Prospect Park, and also the Holocaust.

Andy Bachman, the rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim on Garfield Place, thought the scribbling was in bad taste no matter its meaning.

“It’s either a bad joke in poor taste that falls flat, or someone too easily making reference to the extermination of Jews,” he said.

Whoever the vandal was, he or she was likely familiar with the famous statement attributed to Martin Niemoller: “First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. … Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me and by that time, no one was left to speak up.”

Bachman said that vicious, anonymous attacks like the one that are regrettably quite common.

“Jews, blacks, gays and many others are often the target of nasty graffiti,” said Bachman, adding, “It’s unfortunate.”