“COWARDLY”, “abhorrent” and “vile” … just some of the ways an antisemitic incident at an Albert Park kindergarten has been described this week, after vandals daubed the words “4th Reich” and a Star of David on a brick wall at the Middle Park Kindergarten.
The incident was reported to the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) on Saturday by a shocked non-Jewish man who was walking in the area.
It prompted MPs from both sides of politics to condemn the attack, which occurred less than a fortnight after a swastika was scrawled over a Star of David on an ATM in Balaclava.
“Hard to believe that 75 years since the Holocaust, this sort of antisemitism still exists. And at a kindergarten! A despicable act of a coward,” federal acting Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge said.
In a joint statement, shadow minister for multicultural affairs Andrew Giles and Macnamara MP Josh Burns described the graffiti as “vile”.
“There’s no place for this disgusting hate in Australia,” they said.
“Labor stands in solidarity with the local community and all Jewish Australians.”
On Tuesday, Burns and State Member for Albert Park Martin Foley visited the kindergarten with ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich and met with staff who were “shocked and appalled” by the display.
“We firmly believe that antisemitism has no place in our society and will not be tolerated,” the Middle Park Kindergarten committee of management told The AJN.
“Our community will continue to raise our children to be inclusive, compassionate and respectful to all.”
The graffiti was removed by a parent who saw the vandalism on the news. Victoria Police are aware of the incident.
Speaking to The AJN, Port Phillip Council Mayor Bernadene Voss said the “appalling” graffiti was reported to Council on Monday, and “when our graffiti removal contractor arrived soon after at the kindergarten, they found the graffiti had already been removed”.
“There is no room for this vile graffiti in our city, particularly at a place where children come to learn and play,” Voss said.
“We hope the culprit is identified and publicly faces the consequences of this cowardly attack on our Port Phillip community’s values of mutual respect and inclusion.”
Abramovich added, “Melbourne is a city of strength and pluralism, and united we will fight back against this filth which is invading our neighbourhood.”