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Vandals paint swastikas on Jewish-owned summer cottages in Quebec

Retarded vandals broke into and defaced about 15 of 50 Jewish-owned summer homes in Val David. In one home, at least one of the vandals defecated on the floor, said Pinkas Feferkorn, director of the Val Morin synagogue. Photograph by: Pinkas Feferkorn

Vandals paint swastikas on Jewish-owned summer cottages in Quebec
By Andy Riga, Postmedia News April 16, 2012

Vandals broke into and defaced about 15 of 50 Jewish-owned summer homes in Val David. In one home, at least one of the vandals defecated on the floor, said Pinkas Feferkorn, director of the Val Morin synagogue.
Photograph by: Pinkas Feferkorn

MONTREAL — Vandals broke into several Jewish-owned summer cottages in Quebec in recent days, defacing at least two of them with anti-Jewish hate messages and swastikas.

The Quebec provincial police is investigating the break-ins in Val Morin, 90 kilometres northwest of Montreal in the Laurentians, but could not confirm Sunday that anti-Jewish graffiti was present.

No one was in the homes during the incidents.

Some break-ins occurred Thursday and others were reported Sunday, said Surete du Quebec spokesperson Ingrid Asselin. The vandals broke into about 15 of the 50 Jewish-owned homes in the area, said Pinkas Feferkorn, director of the Val Morin synagogue.

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Furniture was damaged, clothes and toys were thrown out windows and in one house, at least one of the vandals defecated on the floor, Feferkorn said.

Swastikas were spray-painted on the outside of one house. In another, swastikas were painted all over the interior, along with at least one phrase: “F–k Juif.”

Joel Weber, whose cottage was ransacked, said the vandals also apparently tried to start two fires – one in the middle of a street and another on a tarp covering a community swimming pool.

“We’re upset, we’re shocked,” Weber said. “But the SQ is giving it immediate and proper attention. They’ve been there all day.”

Weber was at a loss to explain what could have sparked the incidents.

“There’s a lot of anti-Jewish stuff in the media,” he said, referring to coverage of a dispute between Hassidic Jews and some non-Jewish neighbours in Montreal’s Outremont area. “But it’s hard to know what was in (the vandals’) minds.”

In 2005, vandals broke into a Val Morin synagogue and desecrated 300 holy books.

In 2008, the municipality won a legal battle and stopped the Jewish community from using two chalets as a synagogue and school.

Since then, Jewish residents have been on better terms with non-Jewish neighbours, Feferkorn said.

In nearby Val David, several suspicious fires were set in 2007, including some in a neighbourhood where about 50 Hasidic Jewish families own cottages. A year later, a Hasidic Jewish tourist was punched in the face as he walked to a synagogue in nearby Ste. Agathe.

ariga@montrealgazette.com

Montreal Gazette
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