Swastika attack in Montreal considered hate crime

Marcy Oster

MONTREAL(JTA) — Police are treating as a hate crime the discovery of four automobiles in an apartment building garage in a Jewish neighborhood with their hoods spray-painted with large red swastikas.

What made the incident chilling for the Jewish community was the discovery of envelopes on one or more car windshields containing single bullets and the message: “You Will Die.”

The vandalism was discovered late on the evening of Feb. 23.

“[T]his was not just an act of simple vandalism but a crime targeting the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko of the community’s main advocacy group, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

The swastikas faced the wrong way and one windshield was smashed with a pickaxe, which was left behind. Two of the car owners were Jewish.

The cars were found after residents gathered in the lobby of the building after the fire alarm went off at 10 p.m. and a resident checked the garage for a possible vehicle on fire.

The Quebec legislature subsequently passed a unanimous motion deploring the incident.