For Third Time in Week, Antisemitic Vandals Target Jewish School in Australia

The graffiti found at Melbourne's Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand.

June 24, 2021

For the third time in a week, a Jewish educational institution in the southeastern Australian city of Melbourne has been targeted by antisemitic vandals.

In the latest incident, the misspelled phrase “Israel = Aparthied” was scrawled outside the Beth Rivkah Ladies College, located in Melbourne’s St Kilda East neighborhood, as were the words “Israel sucks.”

On Tuesday morning, another misspelled phrase “Free Palenstine” was found spray-painted on the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand.

And last Friday, the same phrase, spelled correctly, was daubed along the driveway of the Cheder Levi Yitzchok ultra-Orthodox Jewish school.

After the Friday incident, the chairman of Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Dvir Abramovich, told The Australian Jewish News, “To attack a Jewish institution in order to express a hatred against Israel is antisemitic, and these activists have torn up the rule book of decency and are now targeting Jewish schools with their vicious propaganda and calls to destroy Israel.”

Melbourne is home to Australia’s largest Jewish community, with Sydney a close second.

Vandalism incidents targeting Jewish sites have proliferated worldwide since last month’s flare-up of Israel-Gaza violence, part of a global surge that has also included physical assaults and hate speech.