Antisemitic Vandalism Strikes Maryland Delegate Joe Vogel's Apartment Building for the Third Time


Gaithersburg, MARYLAND. - Maryland Delegate Joe Vogel, representing the 17th District, has reported a disturbing recurrence of antisemitic vandalism in his Montgomery County apartment building. This marks the third incident in just a few months.

Vogel took to the social media platform X to share images of four swastikas discovered on the door of the lobby bathroom in his apartment complex. Expressing his dismay, Vogel stated, "To see it in my own apartment building, in my own community, the place that I call home, it's really unsettling."

As of now, it remains uncertain whether Delegate Vogel himself is the specific target of these hateful messages. He remarked, "That kind of hate. Those kinds of messages, that vandalism sends a really dark message to me and others in our community, but it won't make us afraid."

This incident transpires amidst heightened security measures in places of worship across Montgomery County and the nation, in response to potential threats stemming from the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Reflecting on his own experiences, Vogel expressed a hope for a safer Maryland, saying, "I went to high holiday services and there is police officers stationed outside. I am glad they are keeping us safe, but I dream of a Maryland where we don't have to have the police officers there because we are safe."

Vogel has been an outspoken advocate against antisemitism in Maryland. According to the most recent report from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), 109 cases of antisemitic incidents were reported in the state in 2022, representing a staggering 98% increase compared to the 55 cases reported in 2021. More than half of these incidents occurred in Montgomery County.

The ADL's tracker reveals that, thus far in 2023, 68 incidents have been reported in Maryland. The organization notes a notable spike following the Hamas attack in Israel. Vogel stressed the urgency of addressing this surge, stating, "The surge that we are seeing is real and we have to look at that for what it is and we have to take action."

In response to the escalating antisemitic incidents, Vogel spearheaded legislation leading to the establishment of the Commission on Hate Crime Response and Prevention, a task force operating under the State Attorney's Office. This commission, comprising nearly two dozen members including state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders, is mandated to "develop strategies to prevent and respond to hate crime activity and evaluate state laws and policies relating to hate crimes."

Looking ahead, Vogel has announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland's 6th congressional district, vying to succeed David Trone, who is contending for the Senate seat left vacant by retiring Democratic Senator Ben Cardin.