Hamas hostage posters vandalized at Massachusetts home, police investigating ‘hate crime’

A display of posters with the faces of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas terrorists has been vandalized outside a Newton home, as police investigate the “hate crime” and ask neighbors for surveillance footage.

The lawn signs with the names and faces of those held hostage for more than 5 months were defaced with black spray paint outside the home of Jeff and Miriam Kosowsky over the weekend.

“And it wasn’t a random spraying of the paint,” Miriam told the Herald on Monday. “Whoever did this went up to each person, looked them in the eye, and spray painted their face and name.

“They looked at a 9-month-old baby and said, ‘OK, this child should be erased,’ ” she added. “It’s a level of hatred that is quite scary… It’s not healthy for them to feel so much hate. It’s a deep-seated and a very dangerous hate.”

The vandal(s) also wrote “Fre(e) Gaza.”

After the vandalism on Sunday morning, police launched a “hate crime” investigation for the incident along Homer Street in Newton Centre.

“We denounce such behavior, and our community has no tolerance for such bias and hateful acts,” Newton Police Chief John Carmichael said in a statement. “We will investigate the matter fully and seek to prosecute anyone involved.”

Detectives were canvassing the neighborhood, and police were asking neighbors in the Homer Street area to review any surveillance camera footage from Saturday to the early morning hours of Sunday.

Police were able to narrow the timeline down to between 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, Miriam said.

“So this was done in broad daylight,” she added.

The Kosowsky family has had the display outside their home for 5 months, and there hadn’t been a single scratch until Sunday.

“People have to stop the hate,” Miriam said. “There needs to be more dialogue.

“Threats have been coming into synagogues and now to private homes,” she added. “It’s a scary, scary thing. The whole community is real nervous.”

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The vandal(s), however, failed in what they were trying to do, Miriam emphasized.

“They were trying to dehumanize the hostages, but instead, what they’ve done is shine the light on them once again and on their plight,” she said.

The Kosowsky family will leave the vandalized display as it is for now — as a “wake-up call.”

“It’s important for people to see what this hate causes, and the destruction and the evil of it,” Miriam said.

People have been reaching out to help put up the posters again.

“We’ll turn this into a community building experience,” Miriam said, adding that they want to have a rededication ceremony down the line.

The community support in the wake of the incident has been “incredible heartening,” she added.

The Anti-Defamation League’s New England Chapter posted, “There are no words to describe the type of human who would deface the faces of hostages held for more than 160 days.”

“This is just another example of the rampant rise in antisemitism in our communities. We thank @newtonpolice for investigating this as a hate crime and ask that anyone with information be in touch with them about this vile act,” ADL New England wrote.

Combined Jewish Philanthropies out of Boston posted, “There can be no room for this vile behavior in Boston. Our community holds the pain of the hostage families every day and won’t rest until we #bringthemhome.”

Those with any information about the vandalism incident are being urged to contact the Newton Police Tip Line at 617-796-2121.

“Fre(e) Gaza” is spray painted on damaged Israeli kidnapping posters outside a Newton home. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)
Damaged Israeli kidnapping posters outside a Newton home. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

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