Windows broken at two Bay Area Jewish stores

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Two Jewish businesses in Oakland, Calif., were vandalized within two days of each other.

The front window of the Holy Land Restaurant was broken April 16, but nothing was stolen, according to oaklandlocal.com, a neighborhood blog.

Two days later, windows at the Jewish Grand Bakery also were broken, the Jweekly reported.

Police are investigating the incidents as vandalism, Lt. Kenneth Parris, the Jewish community liaison officer with the Oakland Police Department, told Jweekly last week.

There is no blatant evidence that the vandalisms are hate crimes, Parris told the newspaper, though he expressed concern about the timing of the incidents, just days before Israel Independence Day and the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

There are three Jewish businesses in the area. The other, a kosher supermarket, was not vandalized, nor were any other stores in the area, according to Jweekly.

The Holy Land Restaurant, opened in 1989 by Israeli immigrants, has regularly received letters protesting Israeli policies, owner Mira Levy told the blog’s writers. Levy said she and her family "are not involved in politics," and she doesn’t understand why they should be targeted.

A second, non-kosher restaurant owned by the family in Berkeley, also called the Holy Land, has received similar threats in recent years, including a red swastika painted on its building with the word "blood" beneath it.

Levy told reporters that when her mother was deciding what to name the first restaurant, she chose Holy Land rather than a specifically Jewish name to indicate it was for all people, not just Jews.
 
 

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