VANDALS who daubed the words “Free Palestine” on a wall opposite kosher eatery Savion in North Bondi have been described as “cowards” whose motivation was “not merely political but also antisemitic”.
An image of the graffiti was sent to The AJN on Saturday morning by a passer-by. When The AJN inspected the premises after Shabbat, it had been painted over by a member of the community.
The AJN understands the same address was targeted by vandals last Monday, with Waverley Council crews attending the site and removing the graffiti.
Condemning the “cowardly vandalism”, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark told The AJN on Monday, “Vandalising a wall across from a Jewish business shows an intention to hold the Jewish community in Australia responsible for the actions of the State of Israel.
“This is inappropriate, wrongheaded and suggests that the motives of the vandal are not merely political but also antisemitic.”
He added, “Australia is a welcome home for not only our community, but many minority groups from around the world. This sort of behaviour has no place in our multicultural society.”
Social media users blasted the graffiti as “revolting” and “awful”, lamenting that “antisemitism is unfortunately on the rise here in Australia” and urging Waverley Council to install more CCTV cameras in the area.
Bark thanked council and those in the community “for their swift action in removing the graffiti”.
A spokesperson for Waverley Council told The AJN it “condemns acts of vandalism and understands the distress that racial messages can elicit within our community”.
In Melbourne, meanwhile, the words “No Jew jab for Oz” were discovered scrawled on a wall of Ikea in Richmond late last week.
“The pandemic has created a fertile ground for extremists, and it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a poisonous alliance between anti-vaxxers and antisemitic groups who are feeding off each other’s conspiracy theories and whacky narratives,” Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich told The AJN.
Stating, “The neo-Nazis who first accused Jews of creating the ongoing pandemic are now using the growth of scepticism about vaccines, and the fact that many people are online during the lockdown, to spread their dangerous ideas to a wider audience,” Abramovich added, “I hope that our elected leaders will condemn this toxic intersection which may spill into violence.”
It comes after stickers which equate the mandating of COVID vaccinations with Nazi Germany appeared around Melbourne.
Proclaiming, “No jab, no job” and bearing swastikas, the stickers were seen in Caulfield South and Bentleigh.