In an incident in Tarzana, Los Angeles, a 54-year-old woman, apparently of Middle Eastern descent, named Tikvah Mottahedeh was arrested on hate crime charges this week.
She allegedly rammed her vehicle into the gates of the Eretz Synagogue and Cultural Center on Wilbur Avenue, not once but twice, just after midnight on Thursday.
The Los Angeles Police Department took Mottahedeh into custody for vandalism as a hate crime on a house of worship. The synagogue, which became the target of the attack, suffered damage to its gates.
Investigations revealed that Mottahedeh had an Instagram account under her name, featuring posts in Persian, Hebrew, and English. The account included critical writings against the government of Israel and the policies of the Iranian government. Similarly, her Meta (Facebook) account indicated that she is an Iranian Jewish woman.
However, Iran International cannot confirm whether the social media accounts truly belong to the assailant. The United States has detained her on a $25,000 bail but further details of the incident have not been disclosed.
The incident follows a series of anti-Jewish attacks in different countries, notably after Hamas's attack on Israel on October 7, leading to conflict in the Gaza Strip.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in reaction on Thursday that he was "ashamed and outraged" at a recent wave of antisemitic incidents in Germany, warning Berlin would not tolerate such anti-Jewish hatred.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley had earlier called for stringent laws to combat extremism, especially in the aftermath of the Hamas-Israel conflict, highlighting a "gap" in dealing with extremism within the existing legal framework.