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London police chief, mayor condemn anti-Semitic graffiti in downtown core

London Police car in downtown London Ont.,. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

Police in London, Ont., have opened an investigation after several downtown storefronts were vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Police confirmed on Wednesday that a number of businesses were targeted and that the vandalism is still under investigation.

In a post on Twitter London Police Chief Steve Willians condemned the act as “hateful and hurtful” and asked that anyone with information come forward to police or anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

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While the graffiti has been cleaned up, the action’s impact remains.

“We the Jewish people have suffered anti-Semitism for generations. We understand what it’s like to be persecuted throughout the generations,” said Rabbi Lazer Gurkow, a spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefilah in London.

“These are people who are haters, and they look for victims to extend their hatred on.”

Read more: Comparisons of COVID-19 restrictions to Holocaust ‘disrespectful’: Jewish community

Gurkow hopes the main takeaway from this incident is that it is not representative of the majority of people.

He said the few ‘vicious people’ don’t define the city of London as a whole.

“For the most part these people are looking for attention through these negative behaviours there are people that have not found a positive outlook for attention-seeking,” Gurkow said.

Gurkow hopes this story encourages people to want to be more kind.

“Respond to this act of hatred by doing something nice and preferably to a total stranger.”

“One act of hatred could result in a thousand acts of kindness.”

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London Mayor Ed Holder was also quick to disapprove of the vandalism less than a week after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“The grotesque acts referenced below demonstrate why such occasions are as relevant as ever, including here in London,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We stand in solidarity with our Jewish friends, neighbours, and colleagues – now and for always.”

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