US State Department staff discovered a swastika etched onto the wall of an elevator on Monday, Axios reported on Tuesday.
The elevator is located near the office of the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism in the Harry S. Truman building. According to the report, the area is heavily monitored and has security cameras at the entrances, raising questions on how the incident occurred without being detected.
The position of the anti-Semitism envoy has not yet been filled despite calls by Jewish organizations to fill the position in the wake of the recent surge of anti-Semitic attacks in the US.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken sent an email on Tuesday to all of the department’s staff members condemning the incident. “The hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated.”
“As this painfully reminds us, antisemitism isn’t a relic of the past,” Blinken wrote. “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.”
“To our Jewish colleagues: please know how grateful we are for your service and how proud we are to be your colleagues.”
Blinken, who is Jewish, often speaks about his stepfather’s experiences as a Holocaust survivor, the only survivor of the 900 children of his school in Poland.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)