‘Anti-semitism tends to be like a virus that just doesn’t really go away’

By Martin van den Hemel
Staff Reporter
Apr 19 2007

The grainy security camera footage shows two people defacing the entranceway to the Beth Tikvah synagogue, near Railway and Williams roads, spray painting the front door and walls with swastikas and racial slurs early Sunday morning.

The act of vandalism couldn’t have come at a worse time: Sunday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“I think the congregation is unfortunately experienced with incidences of (vandalism) and they’re deeply troubled as are, I think, most British Columbians who see this as an attack…on one faith group…an attack on Canadian values,” said Mira Oreck, director of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Asked if the timing of the vandalism, which came when minds turned to the horrors of the Holocaust, was viewed as merely coincidental, Oreck said: “I don’t want to speculate but I think that…for us, we make the connection and it’s hard to ignore.”

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