Friends Of SWC Calls On Montreal Police To Expedite Investigation Of Synagogue Desecrations

March 28, 2006

FRIENDS OF SWC CALLS ON MONTREAL POLICE TO EXPEDITE INVESTIGATION OF SYNAGOGUE DESECRATIONS

Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies sent a letter to Montreal Police Chief, Yvan Delorme, asking him to expedite the investigation of two Monreal synagogues following their desecrations.

The letter, from Canadian Director of National Affairs, read in part:

"This past week has seen the desecrations of two synagogues in Montreal. Coming on the heels of other recent troubling events and the firebombing of a Jewish school less than two years ago, it is understandable that the local community is worried. However, it is not only these criminal and antisemitic acts that disturb them. Rather, they are also afraid that the Montreal Police may not be taking these hate crimes as seriously as they should, as evidenced by the delay in the response to, and the late start of, the investigation of these incidents.

Sir, only a few short years ago our organization honoured the Montreal Police with an award of merit in recognition of the fine efforts then being made by your Service to combat and prosecute those responsible for hate crimes. We therefore call upon your Force to once again commit its resources to taking these crimes seriously and to bringing the perpetrators to
justice.

There is, though, another widespread concern. That revolves around the need to educate people, and most especially the young and those recently immigrated to Quebec, about the futility and dangerousness of falling prey to racism and intolerance.

To that end, our organization has developed programs that teach teachers how to deal with, confront and ultimately change those who espouse racist views. We intend to work with Montreal's educators to bring such innovations to schools in the city. We look forward to discussing these initiatives with Montreal's Police and teachers."

For more information, contact the Wiesenthal Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.