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April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘swastika’

Montreal Hate Crime Probe Starts With Death Threats and Bullets

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Montreal police have launched a probe into what they are calling a hate crime after residents of an apartment house found their cars damaged and death threats in envelopes with a bullet for each. The ethnicity and religion of the owners of the targeted vehicles was not released.

The incident, which occurred in the parking garage beneath an apartment building on Côte St. Luc Road, was clearly directed at the Jewish community, however — the neighborhood in which the incident took place is known as a “Jewish area.” The vandalism was discovered late Monday night when the smoke alarm in the garage suddenly activated.

Four of the vehicles were branded with swastikas, albeit painted backwards, sprayed in red paint on the hoods. Five of the cars “had envelopes on them, and on the white envelopes there were swastikas on them,” said a resident in the building who requested anonymity. CBC News agreed not to reveal his family name. “The swastikas were huge. They covered pretty much the majority of the hood,” he said. His neighbor’s car had a smashed windshield. On the ground in front of the car lay a hatchet.

“I’ve lived in Montreal my whole life… I’ve never seen this before first-hand, never been a victim of it and just to have it happen literally in your own home, it just left me speechless,” he told CBC Radio One.

One of the envelopes contained a bullet together with a threatening note, another resident told CBC News. Police collected the rest of the envelopes as evidence, before they were opened. “I’m just shocked. This is a hate crime and you never expect it to happen in your community,” the resident said.

“While the intent of the perpetrator cannot be absolutely determined at this time, given what is happening globally, the fact that swastikas are involved, that there were threatening notes and this is a Jewish area, leads one to understand that this was not just an act of simple vandalism but a crime targeting the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko, chairman of the security committee of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

Although police have not released all the details, Poupko told the Canadian Jewish News on Tuesday the notes were attached to all of the damaged vehicles. “They said something to the effect that ‘this bullet is for you,’ “ he told the paper.

The garage has no security surveillance cameras and there are no suspects, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call 514-393-1133.

Swastikas Painted on Shabbat at Jewish Frat House at Univ. of California

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Two large swastikas were found spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Jewish fraternity house at University of California (UC), Davis during Shabbat.

“Jewish people still can’t feel safe on their own campuses and in their own houses,” Nathaniel Bernhard, vice president of the UC Davis AEPi chapter, told the Sacramento Bee. “Anti-Semitism still exists today. It’s not a fairy tale.”

Bernhard said the swastikas were spray-painted on the building sometime between 3-9 a.m. on Saturday.

Barry Broad, board president of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, called the swastikas “especially heinous” given the recent commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.

“Unfortunately, the lessons that history has taught us about the culture of hate have not been heeded by everyone,” Broad said in a statement.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said, “Nothing rivals a swastika as a more potent or offensive symbol of hatred and violence toward our Jewish community members.

London Neighborhood again Vandalized with Swastikas

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas.

The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood is home to as many as 20,000 Haredi Jews.

“There is a large Jewish community that lives here with Holocaust survivors and children of Holocaust survivors, and to see swastikas is not a pleasant thing for them,” Meir Taub, a volunteer for Jewish neighborhood watch group Shomrim, told The Daily Mail. “People were shocked, scared and fearful.”

This incident comes just over a week after a primary school and private home in the same neighborhood were defaced with swastikas.

‘Six Million More’ graffitied on Greek Jewish Cemetery

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

A Jewish cemetery in Larissa, Greece, was vandalized with hateful Nazi-esque graffiti on Dec. 23, 2014.

The graffiti included a call for “six million more,” and large swastikas.

The Jewish presence in Larissa dates back to the Roman era. According to the site Kosher Greece, there is currently one synagogue and this one Jewish cemetery in Larissa. The cemetery is kept locked, which may explain why the vandalism was restricted to the gate and outer wall of the cemetery.

Larissa is located in central Greece. Achilles, of Greek mythology, was claimed to live in Larissa.

Tufts University Vandalized with Swastikas for Third Time in Two Years

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Swastikas were found spray-painted on a Tufts University building for the third time in nearly two years.

The latest swastikas were found Saturday morning on the back wall of the Lewis Hall dormitory on the Somerville, Mass., campus, Boston.com reported.

In June, swastikas were found on the university’s Granoff Family Hillel Center. In April 2013, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah, swastikas and other anti-Semitic hate speech were found on Tufts athletic facilities and buildings in the neighboring town of Medford.

The university released a statement saying that campus and local police were investigating the incident.

“[S]uch deplorable acts, which are counter to the values of the Tufts community, are deeply concerning,” the statement read. “We are taking this incident extremely seriously.”

Nearby Northeastern University experienced a similar incident in November when Swastikas were drawn on fliers posted on campus to publicize a lecture by Eran Shamir-Borer, an Israeli army official.

Hanukkah-Decorated Florida Home Vandalized with Swastika

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

A Jewish man found a swastika drawn on the gate to his home where he had put up decorations for Hanukkah.

David Cohen, 72 and a resident of North Fort Myers, Fla., told police that he found the swastika drawn onto his gate on Monday afternoon.

“I can’t even say how mad it makes me feel,” Cohen told news-press.com. “If it was a kid, I’d say they were very stupid. If it was an adult, they are very ignorant.”

The swastika was about four inches in length.

“I first saw it Monday when I came back from the North Fort Myers Community Center,” Cohen said.

Cohen reported the incident to the sheriff’s office and kept the fence open in order to avoid seeing the swastika and then painted over it.

He also placed a Menorah, dreidel and a Star of David near and around his lawn, which so far has been not vandalized.

 

 

 

 

 

When is a Swastika not a Swastika?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Walgreens announced Monday that is removing all rolls of wrapping paper from its shelves nationwide after a woman from the Northridge community of Los Angeles complained Sunday about the swastikas in the design.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes, I had no idea what to do,” Cheryl Shapiro, the distressed shopper told L.A.’s NBC News affiliate. “I came home and spoke to my rabbi. He couldn’t believe it.”

Shapiro’s experience brings up a larger issue: How close to a swastika should something look to be considered offensive?

The wrapping paper is only the latest in a series of swastika products spotted on the market in recent years. In October, Sears apologized profusely for selling a ring with a swastika on it in its “men’s punk rock style” jewelry collection. In 2013, a clothing line called “Spiritual Punx” began putting colorful swastikas, which might also be seen as donuts, on clothing, stickers and accessories.

In 2007, Zara was caught selling a handbag that featured four green swastikas next to an array of flowers.

The swastika dates back thousands of years, well before Hitler’s rise to power. Before the late 19th century, the symbol was primarily associated with the cultures of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, in which it represented good luck or well-being. By the start of the 20th century, the swastika could be seen throughout Europe, not just in Germany. Today it is still seen on temples in places like India and Indonesia.

In any modern Western context, the swastika is inextricably associated with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

However, is the geometry of the Walgreens wrapping paper in the same category as the Sears “punk rock” ring? After all, the hooked cross, while iconic, is a simple enough design to accidentally replicate if one is drawing enough lines and right angles.

Presumably, Walgreen’s now will be extra careful in scrutinizing its products to assure they do not offend.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/when-is-a-swastika-not-a-swastika/2014/12/09/

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