update deskAntisemitism

White supremacist convicted of vandalizing synagogue in Michigan

No one should be the target of hate because of their race, ethnicity, religion or any other status,” said Mark Totten, the U.S. attorney for Michigan’s western district.

Temple Jacob, a historic synagogue in Hancock, Mich. Credit: Paul R. Burley via Wikimedia Commons.
Temple Jacob, a historic synagogue in Hancock, Mich. Credit: Paul R. Burley via Wikimedia Commons.

A federal jury convicted a Michigan man on Jan. 25 for painting swastikas and symbols associated with a white supremacist group on Temple Jacob, a Reform congregation in Hancock, Mich., in September 2019.

Nathan Weeden, 23, and two accomplices from the hate group The Base planned the vandalism, which they called “Operation Kristallnacht,” on an encrypted messaging app, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. (Yousef Barasneh and Richard Tobin pleaded guilty in 2020 and 2021, respectively.)

“Today’s swift conviction sends a strong message that hate will not be tolerated in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” stated Mark Totten, the U.S. attorney for Michigan’s western district. “No one should be the target of hate because of their race, ethnicity, religion or any other status. When hateful words become hateful acts, my office will use every tool we have to protect the public and secure justice.”

Weeden’s actions were “most certainly disturbing, ignorant and intolerable,” added James Deir, special agent in charge from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Detroit field office.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date, per the U.S. Justice Department.

Temple Jacob was dedicated in September 1912. According to the National Historic Register, it is the oldest, continuously active Jewish House of Worship in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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