Community members are outraged by a swastika drawn on a political poster of a town justice running for reelection this year.
Tuesday night town justice was part of a political debate event at the , when he left pamphlets and posters outside the door along with the rest of the candidate's election materials.
When he walked out the door after the debate to collect his stuff, he noticed the swastika was scribbled on the poster.
"I think it's an outrage," he said and added he was shaken up and upset. "I'm not naive and I know there are all sorts of individuals, but when it hits home, it's outrageous."
Gilbert's is a WWII medic who helped liberate concentration camps during the war, he said. His father Harry enlisted in the army with a sense of urgency, as a Jew whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Poland.
"I have no idea where that act exists on the spectrum of what it could possibly mean," Ilan Gilbert said. "Individuals might not have known the significance -- that it's a derogatory symbol."
A report was filed with the Yorktown Police Department and the defaced poster was seized as evidence. Yorktown Police Lt. Kevin Soravilla said the only other incident he could remember of an anti-Semitic message was two or three years ago when youths had drawn a swastika on a town road.
"Hopefully we don't have a rash of them," he said and added that the problem lies with people not being educated about how hurtful the symbol can be.
The police department is investigating the incident and if the person(s) responsible is caught, he or she would be charged with a hate crime.
Community members who were present when the poster was discovered said they were outraged.
"It shouldn't happen in Yorktown," Lou D'Amico said.
"Hate crimes should be prosecuted," William Primavera said. "I couldn't think of a sweeter guy who should be protected from these atrocities."
His opponent in the race Gary Raniolo also said he was outraged that someone had scribbled the swastika onto the poster and that such behavior should not be tolerated.
"It strikes a cord," Gilbert said. "I'm not sure it's something that needs to be swept under the rug."