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May 14, 2021 12:04 pm
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Swastika, ‘Free Palestine’ Graffiti Spray-Painted on Door of UK Synagogue

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Antisemitic graffiti on the door of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue. Photo: Norwich City Council.

A synagogue in Norwich, UK, has been defaced with antisemitic graffiti that include a swastika and an ethnic slur for Jews.

Local police said that sometime between 4 pm on Thursday and 7:30 am on Friday, the perpetrator spray-painted a swastika along with the words “K*ke” and what appeared to be “Free Palestine,” with several of the letters intertwining, on the door of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue in Norwich, in England’s Norfolk County.

“This is sad and shocking to see and we will not tolerate this kind of hatred in our city,” the City Council wrote on Twitter. “We stand in complete solidarity with our Jewish community in #Norwich and with people from all backgrounds and religions.”

Officials patrolled the area on Friday to offer reassurances to nearby residents, while the graffiti has since been removed by the Norwich City Council. Authorities are investigating and asking witnesses to come forward.

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Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake from Adat Yeshua Synagogue said, “I am deeply saddened by this and saddened that people hate so much it motivates them to commit such a crime. This is sleepy Norfolk, we don’t expect this. It is the first time the synagogue has been targeted, though many of us in the community including myself have experienced antisemitism.”

The British Jewish group Yachad called the vandalism “unacceptable” in a Twitter post, and added, “We unequivocally condemn attacks on Jewish people and communities, and are concerned by the rise in antisemitism as a result of what is happening in Israel-Palestine. Jewish people should not be held accountable for the conflict in the Middle East.”

The Labour member of Parliament for Norwich South, Clive Lewis, also condemned the graffiti. He said in a statement on Twitter, “I want express my condemnation of the antisemitic attack on Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue. There’s no place for hate of any kind in our community. Hate causes problems across the world, including the Middle East. We stand together in our desire for peace & will not be divided.”

The group Combat Antisemitism reported that antisemitic incidents have surged by 250 percent in the UK since the conflict between Israeli and Palestinians began several days ago, citing the Community Security Trust, a nonprofit which helps secure British Jews. 

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