Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise across the country, fueled by tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise across the country and the latest target was local: Manny's Café in San Francisco's Mission District.
Over the weekend, anti-Jewish vandalism was sprawled on the café, presumably targeting owner, Manny Yekutiel, who is Jewish and whose father sought refuge from Afghanistan in Israel.
"Unfortunately Manny's, since it opened a few years back, has consistently been targeted by people attacking Manny because he supports the right of the state of Israel to exist," San Francisco State Senator Scott Wiener told ABC7 News. "This needs to stop. It has no place in San Francisco or anywhere."
While the vandalism has now been covered up and the storefront repainted, it does little to cover up the larger issue. Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise, fueled by tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks these incidents, there was a 75% increase in the two-week period after the violence started last month, as compared to the two weeks prior. It's a trend that also holds true in the Bay Area.
The group also found anti-Semitic incidents have doubled over the last few weeks, following the violence between Israel and Gaza as compared to the same period last year. .
"We see that expressed in a number of different ways," Seth Brysk, the Northern California regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said. "It's through harassment, which is not necessarily a crime, through vandalism, which we're talking about now, and we're even seeing it through the expression of assaults."
Brysk said to his knowledge, violence has not happened in the Bay Area, but there have been attacks in other parts of the country, like New York.
"People have every right in the world to criticize the state of Israel, that is not in and of itself anti-Semitic," Sen. Wiener said. "But when that criticism of Israel tips into attacking Jews, and linking the two, that is anti-Semitic."
Last month, the Chabad of Noe Valley, a Jewish space in San Francisco, was also targeted with vandalism.
"It was death to Israel. Terrorism couple times spelled out," Rabbi Gedalia Potash said. "I live here as well, so it's my home and my spiritual home, and to be hit so close to home was very unsettling."
Rabbi Potash said they have since hired a security guard. The young students also responded by painting a sign of peace that they hung outside.
Following the incident at Manny's, San Francisco leaders have responded by denouncing the vandalism.
"San Francisco will not accept anti-Semitic attacks against anyone," Mayor London Breed tweeted. "Manny has been a leader in our city and an advocate for bringing people together. This kind of hate against any and all communities has no place in our city."
San Francisco Police Chief Scott called the vandalism "cowardly" and said SFPD is investigating the incident.
Manny Yekutiel declined to be interviewed, however David Perry, a spokesperson for Manny's, released a statement thanking the community for its support.
"We're so moved by the outpouring of support from city leaders, elected officials, our community and our neighbors who know what Manny's stands for," Perry said. "We will continue to do the ceaseless work of building community, fostering peaceful, respectful dialogue, and creating needed space for discourse."