A marijuana dispensary in Portland that is owned by an Israeli immigrant was targeted last week with “Free Palestine” posters, the second instance of a Jewish-owned business in Portland getting vandalized in recent weeks.
“I guess it’s somebody that knows that I’m Israeli,” said East Coast Gold owner Avi Ruimy.
“We did not put up any Israeli flag or anything like that. I’ve been living in the United States for 22 years,” said Ruimy. “I’m an American citizen for 15 years.”
A search of the area was not able to discover any other businesses with similar signs plastered next to them.
A few days before the poster appeared next to Ruimy’s storefront, a Jewish-owned lawfirm on Stevens Ave was also vandalized with pro-Palestine graffiti.
The owner of the firm, attorney Steven Cope, had displayed an Israeli flag in his storefront window following the Hamas terror attacks of Oct. 7.
The vandals spray painted “Free Palestine” on his windows, but cope believes the message is more sinister than a call for freedom.
“It’s just a couple of words, Free Palestine, but it’s code, and as code it means a lot more and it resonates in a way that has been just proliferating in various media, and it’s dangerous,” said Cope. “And what happened to me is relatively benign, but it could have been a lot worse and it could be a lot worse to others, whether it be at a synagogue, at the temple, any public gathering.”
The Portland Police Department told the Maine Wire that they are investigating the incident at Cope’s office.
No elected official in Portland responded when asked for comment on the two cases of anti-Semitic vandalism.
In October, the left-wing groups held a pro-Hamas rally in Portland.
During the rally, an organizer said the Hamas terror attacks, which left more than 1,400 Israeli men, women, and children dead, were “morally and legally legitimate.”
Portland officials have also refused to comment on that rally.