DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (Apr. 2)
A monument to Jewish war veterans, vandalized here in January, was rededicated last Sunday, three days after Murray Hymowitz, past commander of Jewish War Veterans Post 266, was badly beaten by anti-Semitic assailants.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said it had no leads yet on the assault or the vandalism, according to Kipp Friedman, a reporter for the Broward Jewish World. Hymowitz, 74, who stands 5-foot-5 inches and weighs 160 pounds, described his assailants as three white men in their mid-20’s, two of whom held him while the third pummeled him after he left a meeting of his veterans post at a shopping plaza in nearby Kings Point.
They shouted anti-Semitic epithets while beating him and fled when an unidentified passerby approached. According to Louis Shure, Palm Beach County regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, there has been a 68 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and Jewish property in Florida in the last year. “Murray’s beating is by far the worst,” Shure said.
In the absence of clues, local police could find no connection between the attack on Hymowitz and the vandals who toppled the six-foot-high grey granite monument, crowned by a Star of David, in the Veterans Park here three months ago. Repairs cost $1,600.
But the monument was a source of local controversy from the start because it honored only Jewish war veterans and because it was sponsored by a JWV post outside the Delray Beach city limits.
When it was dedicated anew, at ceremonies attended by 400 veterans, including Hymowitz, local politicians and clergy, the monument bore an additional inscription honoring all veterans of all wars. But Joe Reilly, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars O’Neal Priest Post 4141 in Delray Beach, which dedicated its own, much larger monument at the same site 40 years ago, was still resentful.