UK synagogue 'Zoombombed' with swastikas, anti-Semitic imagery

Manchester synagogue was the victim of an online attack by anti-Semites who displayed swastikas and shouted hateful statements.

Dan Verbin ,

Zoom (illustrative)
Zoom (illustrative)
iStock

A British synagogue was the victim of an online anti-Semitic "Zoombombing" attack on Friday night when a virtual prayer service was interrupted by anti-Semites displaying swastikas and other abusive images.

“Here’s what happens when fascists zoom bomb our synagogue’s Friday night service – we are shaken. Then we notice how strong our community is. Then we notice how our Jewish stories are all about defeating and surviving Pharaohs and racists,” said the Manchester Reform Synagogue in a Twitter statement.

Greater Manchester Police have opened an investigation. No one has been arrested so far, BBC News reported.

The synagogue said that multiple people had attempted to interrupt the service, and that halfway through the assailants unmuted their accounts and became to shout abuse and displayed swastikas and other hateful imagery on the screen.

While they were immediately removed, they continued to try to gain access throughout the program.

The same synagogue was recently used for filming part of the BBC version of the novel “Ridley Road,” during which fascists break into a synagogue. The novel is based on a true story.

Multiple Jewish events have been victimized by Zoombombing in the last two years, including Friends of United Hatzalah and a selichot service for Alabama Jews.

In Mach 2020, the Anti-Defamation League published advice for synagogues and Jewish groups on how to avoid “Zoombombing.” The advice gave steps and strategies to prevent and mitigate the online trolling of virtual events. These included assigning a pre-meeting ID, designating a co-host, preventing screen sharing by non-hosts, disabling “join before host,” turning off annotated content, and locking the meeting to prevent removed participants from re-joining.



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