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Montreal synagogue spray painted with swastikas

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This article contains images of swastikas spraypainted on a synagogue. 

Montreal police (SPVM) say its hate crimes division is investigating after a synagogue in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood was defaced with antisemitic graffiti.

Swastikas were spray painted on Bagg Street Shul sometime over the weekend, said synagogue president Michael Kaplan on Tuesday.

Kaplan says it’s the first time he’s seen something like this in his 15-year history with the synagogue on Clark Street, though he does not see it as a sign of rising antisemitism.

Photos of the graffiti circulated widely on social media.

Marvin Rotrand, former Montreal councillor and national director of B’nai Brith’s league for human rights. sent a letter to the city, calling for more action against antisemitism.

"While the congregation is small, the synagogue evokes Jewish history in Montreal and the attack on it causes dismay in the community," the letter reads.  

He urged city council to publicly denounce the vandalism and mark the upcoming Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"We recommend a declaration to mark Yom Hashoah be inscribed on the April 18 City Council meeting. We also propose that the practice introduced by Mayor Gerald Tremblay of inviting the Jewish community to City Hall so that the names of victims of the Holocaust be read be reinstated."  

The synagogue Bagg Street Shul in Montreal was defaced with swastikas in March 2023. (CTV News)

In a tweet, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs says it has "reported the incident to law enforcement and will continue working with them to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community."

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante expressed her support for the city's Jewish community, adding that there's no place in Montreal for discrimination and racism. Plante said the city is working hard to ensure everyone's safety.

With files form the Canadian Press

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