Six South Florida municipal officials praised the Miami Police Department this week for opening a hate crime investigation into a rash of vandalism perpetrated by anti-Israel activists in the city’s Wynwood neighborhood.
In recent months, the letters “BDS” — the acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — have been spray painted on sidewalks in front of Jewish-owned Wynwood businesses.
In a letter sent to Miami Police Commander Albert Guerra on Wednesday, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, US Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez, Miami Beach City Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Zionist Organization of America Florida Executive Director Sharona Wisler wrote, “The BDS movement pretends to be a progressive, social justice movement but in fact, it is antisemitic, anti-Palestinian Arab, and anti-peace. The BDS movement singles out Israel alone — the one Jewish state in the world and the only thriving democracy in the Middle East — for condemnation and punishment, while ignoring the egregious human rights abuses of countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.”
“It is crucial that our police departments take pro-active measures to ensure that supporters of the BDS movement do not vandalize community property or engage in other actions that threaten the safety, security and peace that we value,” the letter went on to say.
The letter also called on police departments around the country to look to the Miami Police Department as “a model for how to respond to anti-Israel BDS efforts that may be illegal and even criminal.”
Groisman told The Algemeiner, “I am proud to be part of a community where we stand up to hate, bigotry and antisemitism. The City of Miami Police Department’s investigation into this incident as a hate crime should send a strong message that this conduct is unacceptable in our community. As Mayor of Bal Harbour, where we passed the nation’s first anti-BDS municipal ordinance, I stand firmly against the bigoted and hateful BDS movement, which does nothing to advance peace and solely advances and promotes hate and intolerance.”