Metro-East News

Mike Pence visits vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis

Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit Wednesday to Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Mo., where dozens of headstones were toppled in an act of vandalism earlier this week.

“There is no place in America for hatred,” Pence told a crowd at the historic Jewish cemetery.

Support for the cemetery poured in after news of the incident spread nationwide. A fundraiser to help pay for repairs at the cemetery surpassed its $20,000 goal Tuesday. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, nearly $26,000 had been raised. The fundraiser was organized by Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American-Muslim, and Tarek El-Messidi of non-profit organization CelebrateMercy.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens denounced the vandalism, calling it “a cowardly act” in a post on his Facebook page, while St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said those responsible were “a disgrace to our region.”

“(Missouri’s) people are inspiring the nation (with) their compassion for the Jewish community,” Pence tweeted Wednesday. “Thank you for showing the world what America is all about.”

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump condemned recent threats against Jewish community centers in the country and said they were “painful reminders” of lingering prejudice and evil.

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said Tuesday.