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April 7, 2016 9:41 am

Rabbi of Swastika-Desecrated Sydney Synagogue: ‘Deplorable’ Act an Attack Against Jews Everywhere

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Rabbi Yossi Friedman seen cleaning a swastika graffitied on the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: Courtesy.

Rabbi Yossi Friedman seen cleaning a swastika drawn on the wall of the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: Courtesy.

No matter where an antisemitic assault takes place, it is “an attack against all Jews,” an Australian rabbi whose synagogue was desecrated with swastika graffiti told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

Rabbi Yossi Friedman, of the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney, garnered international attention after taking to social media to decry the vandalizing over the weekend of the house of worship and nearby bus stops with Nazi symbols.

Friedman told The Algemeiner  that he “experienced a number of emotions ” when he discovered the vandalism. “I was furious that such an attack occurred against my community and here, in our own city of Sydney.”

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In an online statement, Friedman wrote:

I am furious. Some low-life coward has drawn swastika graffiti on the side of my Synagogue and on nearby bus-stops. It has literally ‘hit home’ for me and I can’t stop thinking about it. This is an assault against the Jewish People and directed towards those in my community. I can NOT be silent. What would drive a person to such deplorable action? Why such hatred?…Over our three and a half thousand year history since the Exodus, the Jews have suffered greatly. Yet we have endured. We have overcome many oppressive regimes and outlived many cruel, fanatical despots. I have one message to impart to that vandal who desecrated my Synagogue and insulted my people: I pity you. Your hatred is self destructive, it will only consume YOU. So for your own sake, let it go. Oh, and one more message. You were damn lucky that I wasn’t there to catch you.

When asked why he chose to pen an open statement about the attack, Friedman explained, “I felt the need to stand up against this deplorable act, which in essence, was an attack against all Jews, everywhere.”  However, he said, he and his community “have received much local and international support and this is greatly appreciated.”

While the Maroubra Jewish community is dealing with the aftermath of the attack, “it is business as usual,” Friedman said. “This attack will in no way change the way that we go about our daily affairs or regular synagogue activities.”

Swastikas spray-painted on nearby bus stops near the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: Rabbi Yossi Friedman.

Swastikas spray-painted on bus stops near the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: Rabbi Yossi Friedman.

Swastikas spray-painted on nearby bus stops near the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: Rabbi Yossi Friedman.

Swastikas spray-painted on bus stops near the Maroubra Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: Rabbi Yossi Friedman.

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