Canadian Hate Crimes Investigators Probe Antisemitic Vandalism of Ottawa Courthouse
Canadian police on Tuesday were investigating an incident of antisemitic vandalism on the outside walls of Ottawa City Hall and the neighboring provincial courthouse.
The sign outside the courthouse was defaced with a swastika and the letters “SS,” denoting the Nazi killing unit responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust. Officers from the Hate Crimes and Bias Unit of the Ottawa police are attempting to find those responsible.
Police were called to the scene in the area of Laurier Avenue West and Elgin Street early on Monday morning after receiving reports of the offending graffiti.
The Jewish Federation of Ottawa strongly denounced the incident. “The swastika is a symbol of the murder of millions of Jews, and the terrorization of millions more. This hateful graffiti represents hostility toward Canada’s democratic values,” said Andrea Freeman, the federation’s CEO, in a statement.
Freeman said the federation abhorred “the continuing use of the Holocaust, Nazism, and the genocide of European Jews for propaganda purposes. It must stop.”
Freeman also emphasized that “Jews continue to be, by far, the most targeted victims of hate crimes in Canada by population size.” In May of this year, as fighting resumed between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists in Gaza, 250 antisemitic incidents were recorded in that month alone, according to a report compiled by B’nai Brith Canada.
The latest appearance of antisemitic vandalism in the Canadian capital came just one week after local police officers investigated eight separate incidents involving posters carrying hateful antisemitic messages in different neighborhoods of the city.