As David Abrams, 63, was walking his dog, Gabe, on Thanksgiving morning, he came across graffiti at Rose Park. “Dear Jews stop pushing war with Russia,” the message read.
It was written in two places on a black storage box near first base at the softball field at Rose Park in Northwest Washington.
Abrams, who is Jewish, said he was “disgusted, just totally, totally disgusted.”
Not only is the park a part of Abrams’s community, but he also lives across the street and is a member of the Friends of Rose Park board of directors.
Anti-Semitism is “happening here in D.C., and it’s happening in our front yard,” Abrams said.
He said he walked along 26th Street to the park a few minutes after 9 a.m. to talk with a neighbor who was also walking her dog.
When he glanced at the box, he spotted the graffiti.
Abrams sent an email to local community members, Advisory Neighborhood Commission members, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation and the D.C. Department of General Services reporting the incident and asking that the graffiti be cleaned up.
Abrams’s neighbor Oz Malkesman wrote back after seeing the email about the graffiti. He said he had stretched against a post facing the black storage box about 8:30 a.m. before going on a run and did not see anything on the box. Malkesman told Abrams it is unlikely that he would have missed the graffiti had it been there when he was stretching.
Abrams said: “The speculation is that it happened in broad daylight between 8:30 and 9:05.”
Later in the day, Abrams reported the graffiti to the D.C. police, who created an incident report. Abrams said the police told him that the person who wrote the graffiti could be charged, if found, with a hate bias offense and defacing D.C. government property.
Jim Wilcox, a member of ANC 2E, said: “Obviously, everybody is opposed to graffiti, and we’re even more opposed to anti-Semitic graffiti.”
“We hope to eliminate the problem as soon as possible,” Wilcox said.
The city’s Department of General Services has created a work order to have the graffiti removed.
“I never thought I would live to see something like that,” Abrams said.