Antisemitic graffiti found at Victoria Jewish centre on Holocaust Remembrance Day

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Anti-Semitic graffiti has been scrawled onto the Chabad Centre on Vancouver Island, an act of hate targeting the Jewish community on the day dedicated to remembering those killed in the Holocaust.

Rabbi Meir Kaplan says the graffiti was found Thursday morning, written on the wall displaying the centre’s address.

“On the day we remember six million of our brothers and sisters who were murdered killed by the Nazis. We woke up in the morning to see graffiti outside of the centre saying, ‘Kill Jews, Gas Jews,'” Kaplan says.

“We have never seen anything like that. We have never encountered any hateful messages around or in our centre, and of course it was disturbing, it was shocking, upsetting. We hope that the police will be able to find the people are responsible for it.”

Two suspects were caught on security camera, and the Victoria Police Department is investigating.

“I know that this is a high priority for the police, They consider it a hate crime. They plan on doing every effort to find the people responsible for it, and also to ensure that any kind of threats or hateful message against the community is taken very seriously,” he says.

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Kaplan says the hateful messages serve as a stark reminder that anti-semitism is not confined to the past.

“On this day, to find this message on our centre is of course very hurtful, but perhaps it is also sending us a message that there’s still a lot of work to be done to fight anti-semitism,” Kaplan says.

“This was a wake-up call to all of us to realize that anti-semitism and hate still exist in our communities and that we all have to make sure to do our efforts to send a very clear message that any kind of hatred and anti-semitism is not accepted anywhere.”

The Chabad centre is set to expand soon, having purchased a neighbouring building and Kaplan says this hateful incident shows how important it remains to expand education and provide space for the community to come together.

“Our response to such event is just to double our efforts to spread more light, and also being more awareness, and goodness, and kindness to this world,” he says.

“We know that the best way to fight darkness is with additional light.

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