A man has been arrested after a synagogue in Montreal was vandalized on Wednesday.

Multiple swastikas were spray-painted on the front doors of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. The 16-year-old synagogue has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 28-year-old suspect, who reportedly also brought a gasoline canister with him, was caught by a synagogue security guard, after which he was arrested by Montreal police.

Canadian Jewish groups spoke out about the graffiti.

Rabbi Reuben Poupko of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs called it “vile,” while B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said it’s “a jarring reminder of the constant need for vigilance in protecting our Jewish communal institutions.”

Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center president and CEO Michael Levitt said “this horrid and vile attack on the Jewish community must be unequivocally denounced by all who believe there is no room for hatred in this country. As the presence of online anti-Semitism and extremism increases, we continue to see that turning into real-life hate and violence. We are calling on community members to remain vigilant and government and law enforcement to take the necessary action to protect the Jewish community from such attacks.”


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