No Hate in the Hammer statement of solidarity with the Jewish community

We stand in solidarity with Shaar Hashomayim and members of the Jewish community in denouncing the vile anti-Semitic vandalism against a place of worship.

No Hate in the Hammer, the Hamilton Ontario coalition of individuals and organizations working together to make Hamilton a truly inclusive city where everyone is free from all forms of hate , learned with shock and sadness of the hateful anti-Semitic vandalism and attempted arson at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, one of Montréal’s largest synagogues. Four giant swastikas were spray-painted on the entrance doors of the synagogue by a man who was also carrying a large gasoline canister. The desecration of a place of worship with an abhorrent symbol of hate must be condemned.

We stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters in Montréal, Hamilton and elsewhere, and unequivocally condemn this despicable act of hatred. We are strongly committed to a Canada which is safe and welcoming to all. There is no place in our society for hate based on religion or ethnicity.

Sadly, we remember that Hamilton synagogues, too, as well as houses of worship of other religions, have suffered similar acts of desecration in the past few years. We are pained when we think how members of those synagogues who now call Canada home might come there to pray, only to see the same symbols that in their youth were worn by those who brutally murdered their loved ones. This must stop.

One of the founding board members of No Hate in the Hammer, Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli, noted the irony in painting swastikas on the doors of the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue. “In Hebrew, ‘Shaar Hashomayim’ means ‘the gate of Heaven.’ There is much that we don’t know about what awaits us in the afterlife, but I think we all know that any Heaven worth going to does not have a white-supremacist entrance policy.”

Eli Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate said: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

We call upon our leaders and friends and ask that we all do everything we can to root out hate from our midst, once and for all. We cannot afford to remain silent.

In sadness, solidarity, and hope,

No Hate in the Hammer.