Nazi swastika found inside State Department building

·2 min read
US Chile (REUTERS)
US Chile (REUTERS)

Secretary of State Tony Blinken said an investigation would be launched into a swastika found etched on the wall of a State Department elevator.

Quoting a person familiar with the matter, Axios first reported the Nazi symbol was found near the office of the State Department’s special envoy monitoring and combating anti-Semitism at its Washington DC headquarters.

An image showed the crud representation seemingly carved into the siding of “elevator 36”, which is within a secured area of the government building that requires vetting and clearances.

State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter confirmed reports the swastika had been found, according to NBC News.

In a memo to staff on Tuesday, Mr Blinken reportedly condemned the “hateful graffiti” that has since been removed following its discovery.

"​As this painfully reminds us, anti-Semitism isn’t a relic of the past. It’s still a force in the world, including close to home. And it’s abhorrent. It has no place in the United States, at the State Department or anywhere else. And we must be relentless in standing up and rejecting it," Mr Blinken said.

"To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues."

Mr Blinken, who is Jewish, announced during a Holocaust awareness ceremony in June a US-German program to educate the public about the Nazi era.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said in a statement to The New York Times, the swastika was “a serious incident of anti-Semitic vandalism”.

“[It] once again shows that anti-Semitism does not distinguish between Jews in Israel and Jews in America, and harms not only Israel but the entire world,” the statement said.

“We must fight together resolutely against anti-Semitism of any kind… and bring to justice anyone who acts out of hatred for the Jewish people.”

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