Jewish group's billboards calling out Hamas vandalized in Louisville

Originally posted by Louisville Courier Journal

Three pink billboards with messages condemning antisemitism put up by JewBelong, a nonprofit organization that offers support for Jewish people and those in Jewish communities across the country, have been vandalized less than two months after being installed.

Each billboard message read: "Let's be clear, Hamas is your problem too." They were installed as part of a nationwide campaign to deter hate against Jews during the ongoing Israel-Hamas War, The Courier Journal previously reported.

Of the original billboards, two have been torn down. The billboard that remained in place as of Monday — near Interstate 65 and Arthur Street — was tagged with the phrase "Free Palestine." The billboards that were removed were located at I-65 and Eastern Parkway, and near I-264 and Louisville Avenue.

JewBelong spokesperson Katie Goulding Green said Monday that the organization plans to replace each billboard "in the coming days."

In a statement from JewBelong, co-founder Archie Gottesman said Hamas is an "oppressive organization" that should be condemned by all Americans.

“JewBelong believes in the goal of peace for Palestinian and Israeli people and recognizes the fact that Hamas is standing in the way of that peace," Gottesman said.

Louisville Metro Police received a report of vandalism from JewBelong in reference to the billboards and the case has been assigned to a detective, LMPD spokesperson Aaron Ellis said.

Israel declared war on Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs Gaza, shortly after the group launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Israel's government estimated the attack killed around 1,200 Israelis. Since the war began, an estimated 26,600 people in Gaza have died, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.