West Bloomfield Jewish 'Walk For Israel' website hacked with hate speech

Walk For Israel website hacked with hate speech

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – A Jewish website was vandalized Tuesday and left with a disturbing message.

The website, Walk For Israel, which promotes the annual event in West Bloomfield, was taken down and replaced with hate speech.

Investigators said it's too early to tell who's behind the attack on Temple Shir Shalom in West Bloomfield.

Organizers aren't sure when exactly it happened, but they noticed the repugnant message around noon Tuesday.

"I was shocked when I saw it," said Andre Douville, executive director at Temple Shir Shalom. "We thought we had the security measures and firewalls up. These guys were pretty sophisticated. They got around that real quick."

Douville helped start The Walk, which aims to unite Metro Detroiters of all backgrounds in celebrating Israel. In 12 years, he said there has never been an issue like this.

"In this community, we're really insulated," Douville said. "There are lots of Jewish people here, but even the non-Jewish are very welcoming. So this was very disheartening. Like I say, I was shocked and I was angry."

West Bloomfield police are handling the investigation, but it could bring in the FBI and other agencies to help.

After nationwide bomb threats at Jewish centers and other incidents, Douville is bothered by the hate level that seems to be constantly rising.

"I don't know if it's the environment, if it's the political environment, if it's the new president," Douville said. "I don't know what it is, but it just seems like people are more willing right now to have a more extreme attitude and be more vocal about it."

It was around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday before they gained entry and took back control of the website. Both police and the web host are working to backtrack and get information. They expect to at least know when it happened.

Police said the message was misspelled and had incorrect grammar, which could be a sign it came from overseas. They also said the mistakes could have been intentional.

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