Vandal smashes up storefront holiday display in North Portland

"Find the light in yourself. Share that, not the burden of hate." 

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Overnight Wednesday, the Sunlan Lighting store on North Mississippi Avenue in Portland, Oregon, had one of its windows shattered the night it put up a holiday display that celebrated Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beliefs. 

The store's owner, Kay Newell told KPTV that she believes "the window was shattered for either somebody’s dislike of either the Jewish community or the Muslim community."

She said that the security camera footage shows a person riding their bike around 4:30 am, and stopping in front of the store. The person picked up a rock and threw it at the window before taking off. 

Thursday was also the first night of Hanukkah, and Newell told KGW 8 that the vandals "didn’t hit any of our other displays, and it was taken out just after John put in this display." She added, "These items, while they’re very old, probably aren’t worth a great deal of money, but they symbolize something that is very dear to many people’s hearts."

"Right now, we have very serious wars going on, fought among these same people, and it has trickled into the United States," Newell noted. "My message to the person who did this. Find the light in yourself. Share that, not the burden of hate." 

Antisemitic threats and attacks have been on the rise since Hamas terrorists attacked and murdered over 1,000 Israelis on Oct. 7, many of whom were women and children. The FBI revealed in its 2022 hate crime statistics that Jewish people faced the most hate crimes of any religious group. 

In November, less than a month after Hamas' attack on Israel, Vice President Kamala Harris announced the Biden administration's National Strategy to Counter Islamaphobia. In a post on X, she said, "Taking on hate is a national priority. Today, @POTUS and I are announcing the country’s first National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia. This action is the latest step forward in our work to combat a surge of hate in America."

"For years, Muslims in America and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks," she claimed. "As a result of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen an uptick in anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, antisemitic, and Islamophobic incidents across America, including the brutal attack of a Palestinian-American woman, who is Muslim, and the killing of her 6-year-old son."

In the video, she also noted that the administration had already created the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism earlier this year. 

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