Two men were arrested for plastering swastika stickers all over Caulfield, Australia only one day after the state of Victoria, where the heavily Jewish Melbourne suburb is located, introduced legislation to ban public displays of the Nazi symbol.
According to The Age, the 21 and 29-year old men were arrested at 10:30 a.m. in Caulfield after they allegedly stuck swastika stickers on fences, bus stops, light poles and a Jewish community center.
The men were charged with offensive behavior and illegal bill posting.
“It is alleged the stickers were placed on property on Balaclava Road, Hawthorn Road and other fences, light poles and bus stops at about 10.30am,” Victoria Police said in a statement.
One of the targets of the suspects was the Beth Weizman Community Centre, which was plastered with stickers – some of which said “You censor the truth” – while Israeli Ambassador Amir Maimon was inside the building.
Victoria became the first state in Australia to ban the public display of the swastika on Wednesday but the legislation will not become law for 12 months. Once in place, the public display of a swastika will be punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $22,000 fine or both.
Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich told the publication that the incident was yet another example of the increasing numbers of neo-Nazi followers in the country.
“This terrifying incident is a declaration of war against the Jewish community by Hitler worshippers who are ramping up their sickening campaign of terror, intimidation and fear,” Abramovich said.
“People walking the streets of Caulfield with their children should not be confronted by dangerous individuals spreading their poisonous ideology of murder and extermination. I have no doubt that this frontal assault by these hardcore bigots is in direct response to the ban announced [on Wednesday].”
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)