A JEWISH cafe owner in Melbourne has warned, “We won’t let history come back” after her business was defaced with antisemitic graffiti early this morning (Thursday).
Aliza Shuvaly, who runs Aliza’s Place Cafe in Chadstone, arrived at work to find the words “The Holocaust is a lie” scrawled on her back fence, along with a swastika.
Speaking to The AJN, Shuvaly said she never thought she would experience antisemitism in Melbourne.
“I cannot ignore this symbol,” Shuvaly said. “All my family were Holocaust survivors – my mother’s parents, my husband’s parents – and for me it’s hurting twice.
“I started to shake, I didn’t know what to do.”
Shuvaly was so angered by the graffiti that she removed the swastika herself, before council crews arrived to remove the rest of the graffiti.
“I won’t let them have the satisfaction of having it on my wall,” she said of the vandals.
Admitting she is now scared as a result of the attack, Shuvaly said it won’t deter her from running her business.
“I couldn’t close the cafe. It’s not going to break me as a Jew. I’m not sure if I’m the target or [if it’s] just because we are Jewish.”
Asked if she has a message to the perpetrators, Shuvaly replied, “They need to move on with their life, it happened a long time ago, we won’t let history come back.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said, “We need to make sure that we do not reach the point where Jews in Victoria will not feel safe walking the streets or in their businesses, yet the recent surge in hate and white-supremacists activity in our state, which is hitting an all-time high, is causing many to feel this way.
“These bigoted thugs and their cowardly attempts at intimidation must not go unchallenged, and I hope … those responsible for this crime will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.”