Wellington Jewish congregation targeted by neo-Nazi graffiti

The graffiti on The Terrace.
The graffiti on The Terrace. Photo credit: Supplied/Wellington City Council

A Jewish temple in Wellington has been targeted by neo-Nazi graffiti. 

The footpath outside the Temple Sinai was defaced by numerous bright yellow swastikas on Wednesday. The word "Heil" was also painted nearby.

"One swastika was painted on the synagogue, one on a nearby fence and several others on the footpath and a fence on The Terrace," a Wellington City Council spokesperson told Newshub.

"People looking after the synagogue were able to paint over the swastika really quickly - before the council got there to help."

The graffiti may have been removed but a sense of unease remains.

"Events in New Zealand over the past year and beyond that has left us with a sense of insecurity and vulnerability," Temple Sinai chair Matthew Smith told NZME.

"I'm upset by it and outraged by it, that we are targeted like that - but at the same time I'm not entirely surprised."

The vandalism comes as Israel holds the fifth World Holocaust Forum. On January 23 it will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. It is also international Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The event strives to create awareness about the need to fight anti-Semitism. 

New Zealand's absence from the event has been slammed as "disgraceful" by the Opposition. 

"The Government has failed to send a single representative, not even the Governor-General or a Minister, to this significant event. We send Ministers and Members of Parliament to a number of events around the world, but not to this one," said National's Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee.  

 

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