(JTA) — Both the Jewish candidates running for Congress in a suburban New York district say they have been targeted with anti-Semitic rhetoric.
On Sunday, the campaigns for Rep. Lee Zeldin and his Democratic challenger, Perry Gershon, in the 1st Congressional District on Long Island traded condemnations over the incidents.
A swastika was found painted on a Gershon campaign sign that day. In addition, Gershon campaign signs have been vandalized with other phrases, including “baby killer” and “gay lover.”
Zeldin said anti-Semitic messages have been sent to him, including one that spoke about his wife and children being taken to the gas chamber, according to reports. Zeldin campaign signs also have been torn down and vandalized.
Gershon called on Zeldin to condemn the vandalism of his campaign signs, which Zeldin suggested may have been done by the Gershon campaign, News 12 Long Island reported.
“Whether it’s someone attacking me or attacking my opponent, I will condemn it,” Zeldin told News 12. “But meanwhile, when I get called a Nazi a few thousand times by his supporters, and that’s documented, and he has nothing to say? Posting a picture of my family of them marching off to the gas chamber and he has nothing to say?”
Gershon said of the accusation, according to Newsday, “I think he’s trying to incite, as opposed to calm, and it’s inappropriate and it’s disgusting for a fellow Jew to do that.”