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N. American Jewish Sites Bombed and Vandalized Over Passover

A Jewish center in Montreal was targeted in a bomb attack and synagogues in San Francisco and Chicago vandalized over the first days of Passover.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 4/5/2007, 7:15 PM

A Jewish center in the Canadian city of Montreal was targeted in a bomb attack, and a synagogue in San Francisco, California was defaced with swastikas during the first days of the Passover festival.

The bomb detonated at Montreal’s Ben Weider Jewish Community Center failed to cause any injuries or deaths, though workers were present at the time of the explosion. Damage was caused to the building.

Montreal police downplayed the incident, emphasizing that the bomb was “homemade” and saying they have not yet determined whether it was a hate crime.

The bombing comes just two days before the third anniversary of the firebomb attack on a Montreal United Talmud Torah elementary school. That attack burned the school’s library.

Another Jewish school was firebombed last year. B’nai Brith Canada reports a 70 percent rise in anti-Jewish attacks in Quebec and a 12.8 percent rise in all of Canada.

Swastikas in San Francisco
San Francisco’s Emanu-El synagogue, the largest in the city, was defaced with swastikas over the Passover festival. Congregants discovered the vandalism Monday morning.

San Francisco’s mayor condemned the Nazi graffiti. "San Francisco is known as a city that embraces people of all faiths," Mayor Gavin Newsom told CBS news. "We strongly condemn this act of hatred and intolerance."

In the heavily-Jewish populated Bergen County region of New Jersey, swastikas and anti-Jewish graffiti were found engraved into the playground of a Wallington park on Passover eve.

Bergen County Police spokesman Kevin Hartnett said, "We run into graffiti in the parks all the time, but we don't see these types of possible bias crimes often.”

Anti-Jewish Arabic Graffiti on Chicago Synagogue

Chicago police are investigating the Passover eve spraying of graffiti on the walls of a Chicago synagogue. Anti-Israel messages, including "Death to Israel," were painted in English and in Arabic. "This is what American Jews have to look forward to. You can hear the deafening silence," said Jack Berger, a Chicago Jewish community leader.

Ahmed Rahab, director of the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic relations, condemned the act as "reprehensible."

Anti-Jewish Sketches at Princeton U
A rough drawing of a building labeled “Jewish library” with missiles headed toward it was found in a Princeton University common room. Also in the path of the missiles were stick figures labeled “little Jews.” A swastika graced the top of the sketch.

Jewish students presume the drawing is a reference to a Jewish fundraising drive for an elementary school in northern Israel damaged during the Second Lebanon War last summer.

Click here to read the full story in the Princeton student paper.

...And on Popular US Blog

The Daily Kos blog, one of the most popular American political websites, is featuring anti-Semitic graphic content since Thursday. The Daily Kos reportedly receives 600,000 visits a day, and between 14 million and 24 million visits per month. It is often used by politicians – including Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and many others – for dissemination of their materials.

The content is featured in a 'diary' by one of the site's contributors, a Belgian graphic artist. It shows a composite of Minister Avigdor Lieberman's face and Adolf Hitler's face holding a skull painted with a Star of David, under the caption "Zionism was and remains a racist ideology."

Gil Ronen contributed to this report