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Jewish organization denounces Fredericton synagogue vandalism

By Regis Phillips Jan 29, 2024 | 12:14 PM

The New Brunswick chapter of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV NB) is denouncing the weekend vandalism at a Fredericton synagogue.

Several windows at the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue were smashed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We recognize the swift response from local politicians and community leaders, including responses of solidarity and support from anti-oppression and pro-Palestinian groups around the province,” the organization said in a news release.

IJV NB said the outpouring of support is wonderful to see, however, they are also disturbed by the initial responses made by local leaders and politicians suggesting the Palestinian community and solidarity activists were behind the attacks.

“It is crucial to dispel the misconceptions that all Palestinians hate Jews, and that criticism of Israel is antisemitic, assigning blame to an entire group perpetuates dangerous stereotypes, especially when done without substantive evidence,” continued the release.

“As members of the Jewish community, we are acutely aware of the historical dangers associated with baseless accusations, such as blood libel.”

IJV NB hopes police will not be distracted by prejudiced or fear-based accusations, and instead use fact-based investigative tools to identify the perpetrators.

The organization said it is equally disturbed by responses that paint all criticism of the State of Israel as an act of antisemitism.

“Misinformation like this contributes to confusion and makes it difficult to identify true threats to Jewish life from valid criticism of any government’s policies,” the release added.

“We are heartened by the loud outpouring of support and solidarity from the larger New Brunswick community against this attack, and grateful to know that the majority of our neighbours do not condone such acts.”