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Montreal Synagogue Vandalized With Swastika Graffiti

[additional-authors]
January 14, 2021
The vandalized front doors of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim (Photo from Twitter)

A major synagogue in Montreal was vandalized with swastika graffiti on January 13.

The synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, had multiple swastikas spray-painted on its front doors; a 28-year-old man was arrested in connection to the matter. The suspect is also alleged to have brought a cannister of gasoline to the synagogue; a security guard caught the man before he could use it.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the graffiti as “despicable” and “vile” in a tweet. “We must always denounce antisemitic hate, no matter when or where it arises,” he wrote.

 

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn called the vandalism “another jarring reminder of the constant need for vigilance in protecting our Jewish communal institutions.”

Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center President and CEO Michael Levitt similarly said in a statement, “As the presence of online antisemitism and extremism increases, we continue to see that turning into real-life hate and violence. We are calling on community members to remain vigilant and government and law enforcement to take the necessary action to protect the Jewish community from such attacks.”

Rabbi Reuben Poupko, co-chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Quebec (CIJA-Qc), also said in a statement that the vandalism “targets the entire [Jewish] community and all those who embrace civility and tolerance.”

“Coming in the wake other violent antisemitic attacks, it is yet another reminder of the dangerous role social media continues to play in the spreading of hate and the provocation of violence,” he added. “The Jewish community calls on government and social media to redouble their efforts to monitor and halt this propagation of antisemitism and bigotry. We are grateful to the synagogue security and the police for their rapid response.”

 

Jewish groups in the United States expressed their solidarity with the Canadian Jewish community.

“This deeply disturbing act of Jew-hatred must be condemned by all,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center similarly tweeted, “Anti-Semitic attacks continue against Jews and our institutions around the world. This time in Montreal. Relieved that this time the perpetrator was caught.”

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