Vandals target Jewish community

By Daniel Stringer
North Shore Times
January 17, 2018 4:34pm

The community of St Ives has been left shocked by what has been called an act of “racially motivated vandalism”.

During the evening of January 6, several vehicles in St Ives were defaced with spray painted symbols of swastikas and abusive words. Given the large Jewish population in St Ives, the crime is being interpreted as having racial undertones.

A van parked on the street was spray painted with the swastika symbol.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff strongly condemned the incident.

“Racially-motivated vandalism has no place in civil society,” Mr Alhadeff told the North Shore Times.

“Nazi swastikas represent the ultimate in racial hatred, and all well-meaning people should condemn these attacks and those who engage in such despicable behaviour. We hope that the authorities catch the thugs responsible.”

However Ku-ring-gai councillor David Citer, who is a prominent member of the local Jewish community, said he believed the attack was “a one-off” but agreed it was motivated by “racial hatred”.

“At the end of the day St Ives is made up of a lot of different religions whether it be Christian, Catholic, Muslim or Jewish and we are a very tolerant community,” Mr Citer told the North Shore Times.

“I think the average resident living in St Ives would look at this act in a bad light and I don’t think that sort of sentiment is echoed through the community. I think this is a one-off incident and as a whole the community is very tolerant of all different religions and we have proven that we can live harmoniously with people of an array of different faiths.”

Data from the 2016 census showed that almost ten per cent of the population living in St Ives identified as Jewish. Mr Citer said the use of a symbol which carries a meaning of prolific hatred and genocide such as the swastika is very troubling and more education is needed to prevent another act of this kind.

“Unfortunately you do get a few in the minority who want to express hatred through racism and bigotry and obviously an act like this where swastikas are being painted on cars is a blatant act of racism.

“Education is always the key and I think it is important for young people to understand what the Jewish community actually went through during the Second World War.

A representative for the Ku-ring-gai LAC stated that the investigation is ongoing and there are no people of interest at this stage.

Original article: