Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Man arrested for vandalizing Montreal synagogue

The 28-year-old man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after painting several swastikas on the doors of the Shaar Hashomayim Congregation which face the Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Antoine.

He also had a can of gasoline in his possession, Rabbi Adam Scheier reported on Facebook, who shared a photo of the container. (New window).

According to the latter’s account, the suspect was overpowered at the scene by a synagogue security officer who had noticed him thanks to surveillance cameras. He was subsequently returned to the care of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) without anyone being injured.

The graffiti has since been removed, he says.

At this time, we have no reason to fear further attacks on our synagogue building, and we will remain vigilant, as always.

Adam Scheier, rabbi

This is, according to Rabbi Scheier, an anti-Jewish act. The case is also handled by the hate crimes section of the SPVM.

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The suspect will appear on Thursday for public mischief, but other charges could be filed later. A psychiatric evaluation should however be requested since, according to our information, the man was making inconsistent comments at the time of his arrest.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said on Twitter that he condemns firmly the desecration of the synagogue – a move he calledignoble and D’absolutely odious. We must speak out against anti-Semitic hatred, no matter where and when it occurs, he argued.

The crime was also exposed by several Jewish organizations, including Federation CJA and the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), according to whom this attack targets the whole community and all those who adhere to the principles of civility and tolerance.

Congregation Shaar Hashomayim is the largest traditional synagogue in Canada. It was erected in its present location on Kensington Avenue in the early 1920s.

With information from Pascal Robidas

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