“Anti-Semitism: Vandalism and Attacks on Property”

Hate Crime Survey: Anti-Semitism

Human Rights First

III. Vandalism and Attacks on Property

Perpetrators of antisemitic violence and threats often targeted Jewish families in their homes or in communal areas, vandalizing automobiles, breaking windows, daubing threatening graffiti, or smearing doors with excrement. Everyday harassment included epithets directed at family members as they went to and from their houses, being pelted with missiles, and aggressive pounding on the doors and windows of family homes. Mezuzahs (cases holding parchments inscribed with Hebrew verses that are fixed to the doors of many observant Jews) were also vandalized.

The majority of reports of incidents involving vandalism of homes and personal property came from Western Europe and North America, where official and community-based monitoring and reporting systems were available. Human Rights First is aware of incidents in which families were targeted for harassment and vandalism in their homes in France, theNetherlands, the Russian FederationCanada, the United Kingdom, and the United StatesRepresentative examples include:

  • In the Russian Federation, on June 13, 2007 vandals sprayed graffiti on the home of a Jewish woman in Murmansk.
  • In Canada, in June 2007, attackers broke into the home of a Jewish family in Bowmanville, Ontario, and daubed swastikas and other antisemitic graffiti on the walls.
  • In the United Kingdom, on April 1, 2007, vandals attacked a Jewish home in London, identifiable by a mezuzah, and smeared excrement

[Excerpt from 2008 Hate CrimeSurvey: Antisemitism, III. Vandalism and Attacks on PropertyHuman Rights First. www.humanrightsfirst.org. 2008.]