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Surveillance video recorded vandals at Workmen’s Circle

Two acts of vandalism mark Pico-Robertson building in 24-hour period

by Ryan Torok

February 7, 2014 | 3:15 pm

A mural on the side of the Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle Southern California campus defaced with graffiti on Feb. 7. Photo by Julie Fax

A mural on the side of the Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle Southern California campus defaced with graffiti on Feb. 7. Photo by Julie Fax

Security cameras at a Chabad center captured two separate incidents of vandals defacing a mural at the SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle building in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood this week. The Chabad is located across the street from the Workman’s Circle, and the actions were recorded as part of the Chabad’s routine surveillance.

[Related: Incident 1 / Incident 2]

According to the video, the first incident took place at 3:20 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, when at least two vandals wrote “Free Palestine!!!!” across the wall. During the second incident, what look like a second pair painted over the word “free” with an expletive; this act occurred at 11 p.m. on Feb. 6, according to the video record. None of the vandals have yet been identified.

Workmen’s Circle chairperson Ruth Judkowitz denounced both sets of graffiti, which contain messages that underscore the heated debate surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“My concern is that we have two extremist groups, equally guilty of poor judgment and unlawful behavior, who are exacerbating already-hot feelings,” Judkowitz said in an interview.

The new information, including the times that the incidents occurred, and the approximate number of people who were involved,  were provided by Rabbi Asher Yemini. of the Chabad Israel Center at Robertson Boulevard and Horner street.

The graffiti remained on the mural as of Friday afternoon.

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