Whoever vandalized Fall River's Hebrew Cemetery over the weekend is sick in the head and must be punished. That said, doesn't something about all of this strike you as a bit odd?

The horrific words and symbols of hate that were scrolled on headstones in the northern end of the graveyard are chilling and offensive. They were meant to be. There is something about it, though. that doesn't quite add up. This wasn't a random act of vandalism but rather a more calculated attack as though it were planned in advance. It's just too...neat.

Swastikas were drawn on some graves while "Heil Hitler" and "Hitler was right" were among the messages scrawled across the tombstones. The quote from the book The Turner Diaries, which most people have never even heard of, was a nice touch but the clincher was "this is MAGA country."

Really? This could have been done by a set designer in Hollywood. It's too perfect.

And right on cue, local Jewish leaders were quick to take the bait. Jeffrey Weissman, who heads the Congregation Adas Israel, tells the Herald News the blame for the cemetery vandalism lays with President Trump.

“We’ve become a nation that, instead of leading the world, we’re starting to fall apart. This nation has become so divided, and we have one person to thank for it," he said.

Rabbi Jacqueline Romm Satlow with the UMass Dartmouth Center for Jewish Culture expressed similar views while appearing on my program on Tuesday. The Rabbi refused, however, to criticize Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), whose anti-Semitic comments were brushed off by Democrats in the House.

It is a shame that these religious leaders would resort to hateful political rhetoric before a motive is established or a suspect questioned. It's like Brett Kavanaugh, Jussie Smollett, and the Covington Catholic High kids all over again. People who should know better are passing judgment without an iota of evidence as to who performed this horrible act or why. Let the police investigate this obvious hate crime and see where the trail leads before we begin drawing conclusions.

Seems to me that Mr. Weissman and Rabbi Satlow ought to back away from the politics of Trump-hating long enough to recognize their own roles in the spreading of intolerance.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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