Police remove antisemitic banner hanging on Cincinnati overpass

Cincinnati police officers removed a banner with an antisemitic message that was hanging from an overpass on Columbia Parkway last weekend.

Police said they received several calls related to the banner, which said, “Save Ireland from the Jews.” While it was not placed along the route for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the message coincided with the holiday weekend.

“Upon arrival, CPD did confirm the existence of the banner,” the department said in a statement to WCPO. “Due to signage being prohibited from hanging from any overpass and the size of the banner which created a safety hazard to motorists traveling underneath, CPD did remove the banner.”

Rabbi Ari Jun, director of Cincinnati’s Jewish Community Relations Council, said a community member first notified him of the banner Saturday morning. He said they also heard about a possible second banner on the overpass on Hopple Street and Interstate 75.

“We got into action right away as soon as we heard about this,” Jun said. “We were in touch with local law enforcement, with members of Cincinnati City Council, we were in touch with everything we could to make sure these banners got taken down immediately.”

Jun said there has been an uptick in antisemitism in the U.S. in the past decade. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents have increased 360% since October.

The Jewish Community Relations Council takes reports of antisemitism in the Cincinnati area. Jun said the council has seen “a giant leap” since the start of October. Jun said on average there’s been an antisemitic incident once every three days in the past five months.

“This is not an easy time for our Jewish community ... I hear from people all the time that they are uncomfortable being Jewish in public,” said Jun. “That is the overall effect of this rise in antisemitism.”

Cincinnati police did not say if they knew who put the banner up nor how long it was hanging before it was taken down.

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