The vandalism occurred sometime between July 3 and last Monday, while Antar's shop was closed for the holiday weekend. When she reopened the shop last Monday morning, she said, she found the interior walls covered with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans. The store had been ransacked and all of the new fall merchandise had been stolen.
Lower Merion police said last week that they had no leads and were continuing their investigation.
The incident has attracted the attention of the B'nai B'rith Anti- Defamation League in Philadelphia, which monitors anti-Semitic vandalism. Barry Morrison, regional director of the Philadelphia bureau, said his agency counseled victims of such attacks and advised police on the use of the Ethnic Intimidation Law.
The law, enacted in Pennsylvania in 1982, says that if bigotry can be shown to be a component of a crime, the crime can be reclassified as a more serious offense.
Morrison said he has received many telephone calls from people who were worried about the vandalism. Some of the callers have been frantic, he said.
"Many people have called and asked what's going on," he said. "We are trying to allay panic fears and the growth of rumors."
Morrison said the governor's Tension Task Force, which monitors incidents of ethnic harassment in the state, also is keeping a watch on the situation.
"The majority of these incidents do not get reported, either by the victim, police or the media," he said. "It shouldn't have to take a dramatic event to get us to recognize that much work needs to be done."