October 31, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Allison Binder (949) 724-6226
STATEMENT OF IRVINE CITY COUNCILMEMBER MELISSA FOX ON THE RECENT HATE CRIMES IN IRVINE: IRVINE WILL STAND STRONG AGAINST INTOLERANCE AND STAND UP FOR OUR NEIGHBORS
This morning, Irvine Police officers were called to Beth Jacob Synagogue where offensive, anti-Semitic graffiti was spray painted on an exterior wall. In response, Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel himself went to the scene and Irvine Police detectives are aggressively investigating this crime and are asking the public to report any suspicious activity surrounding this or any other of our religious or cultural institutions to our Police Dispatch Center at 949-724-7200. Police presence and patrols have been increased at all Jewish institutions in Irvine.
Last week, I learned that restrooms at Irvine Valley College had been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti (swastikas) and that fliers for a Muslim group were defaced. I immediately relayed this information to Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel. I am grateful to Chief Hamel and the men and women of the Irvine Police Department for their swift and serious response to these incidents.
It should go without saying that anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred have no place in our community. We are proud of the fact that Irvine is one of the most multicultural and harmonious cities in the world. There are no ethnic, linguistic, religious, or cultural enclaves in Irvine; every neighborhood reflects Irvine’s harmonious ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity. A quarter of our residents were born outside the United States. A non-English language is spoken in more than half of Irvine homes, with more than 70 different languages spoken in residences throughout Irvine. Irvine is also home to more than 80 different churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, serving Irvine’s wonderful cultural and religious diversity. Irvine celebrates this diversity and difference in numerous cultural, ethnic, and religious festivals throughout the year, including our world-famous showcase of Irvine’s cultural richness, the Irvine Global Village Festival.
But even here in Irvine, there are incidents where hateful actions are directed toward people because of racism and bigotry.
As a member of the Irvine City Council, I echo Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel’s statement that we denounce, in the strongest terms, this type of hateful act.
I also echo Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner’s statement that these acts of hatred “are both enraging and unacceptable. They will not go unchallenged by the good people of Irvine. An attack on anyone in Irvine of any faith is an attack on us all. These two local acts of hate, and even more so the senseless, wanton murder of 11 innocent people in Pittsburgh, remind us that historical prejudices remain alive in evil people. It is for the good to work tirelessly against them, their hatred, and their evil. Anti-Semitism cannot be acceptable in this country; it will not be ignored in Irvine.”
Irvine will always stand strong against intolerance and stand up for our neighbors. We will never take lightly hate crimes or threats fueled by hate. We will find, arrest, and punish those who committed this despicable crime.
Irvine is committed to preserving the peace in our wonderfully diverse community and keeping every resident of Irvine safe and secure.
Member, Irvine City Council
You can see a video of the incident here. If you have any information, contact the Irvine Police Department at contact Irvine Police Department Detective Dave Tran at 949-724-7098.