The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Belknap County office was vandalized with antisemitic and white supremacist symbols and messages amid reports by watchdog groups of increases in antisemitic and other bias incidents in the U.S.
Democrats are “outraged and horrified by the recent discovery of antisemitic and white supremacist graffiti” at the office in Laconia, state party Chair Raymond Buckley said in a statement on Thursday morning.
“The documented rise in these hate crimes here in New Hampshire is alarming and unacceptable,” Buckley said. “We must confront and challenge this vile ideology at every turn. We stand in unwavering solidarity with the Jewish community and all those targeted by these abhorrent acts. We will not be intimidated or deterred in our fight against bigotry.”
The vandalism included swastikas and an antisemitic slur spray-painted on the side of the group’s headquarters, according to Colin Booth, communications director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Posters were also discovered glued to the side of the building featuring a star of David with a knife through it, as well as conspiracy theories about Jews and the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Johnna Davis, the chair of the Belknap County Democratic Committee, told NBC News that she believes they were targeted because of a post on the group’s Facebook page last week about an event at a local synagogue to commemorate Kristallnacht.
The state party doesn’t know who is responsible for vandalizing the property, said Booth, who added that the New Hampshire Democratic Party notified the state attorney general’s office about what was found with the hopes that the incident can be investigated as a hate crime and solved quickly.
Michael Garrity, a spokesman for Attorney General John Formella, said that the attorney general’s office is aware of the incident and working with the Laconia Police Department.
“Hate crimes and civil rights violations have no place in New Hampshire,” Garrity said. “The attorney general’s office is committed to working with our local, state, and federal partners to identify these acts and their perpetrators and to pursuing action to the fullest extent possible.”
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., reacted to the antisemitic vandalism on X, saying, “I’m thinking of all my friends in Laconia tonight. This antisemitic vandalism is part of a surge in hateful attacks on the Jewish community across the country. There is simply no place for bigotry and hate in our society, and we must speak with one voice to condemn it.”
The Laconia Police Department did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for information and comment.
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified before Congress about the rise in antisemitism and domestic extremism in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and subsequent conflict in Gaza. Citing government statistics, he said that Jews in America suffer “something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes and incidents” despite representing only about 2.4% of the American public.