LOS ANGELES (Apr. 24)
Police have launched a full-scale investigation into the Molotov cocktail bombing of a San Diego Jewish newspaper building, which had previously been defaced by spray-painted swastikas.
The firebomb, hurled against the one-story building in E1 Cajon, Calif., that houses the San Diego Jewish Times, ignited a blaze early Saturday morning that shattered two barred windows and scorched the building’s front wall.
Garry Rosenberg, publisher of the biweekly newspaper, said that the Molotov cocktail hit a bar protecting one of the building’s front windows, which prevented the bomb from landing inside the offices.
“This is not a prank,” said Rosenberg. “This was a bomb and we have people who work late. This was potentially life-threatening.”
A $2,500 reward has been offered by the newspaper and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.
The newspaper had recently taken extra security precautions, said Carol Rosenberg, the Times’ executive editor, after a series of swastika daubings had occurred during the past year and threatening anti-Semitic phone calls had been made to the paper.
Anonymous phone calls over the past year have included such threats as “The bars won’t stop bullets” and “Jewish newspapers don’t belong in El Cajon.”
“The damage (Saturday) was more psychological than physical,” Carol Rosenberg said after returning to work Monday morning.
Morris Casuto, regional director of the ADL, said he had alerted police some weeks ago to possible anti-Semitic incidents in connection with the 100th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth on April 20.
“The act may have also been timed for the celebration of Passover, but at this point this is pure speculation,” Casuto said.
(JTA reporter Marlene Goldman in New York contributed to this report.)