Melbourne Jewish school bolsters security after 'chilling' antisemitic graffiti incident

The vandalism has triggered urgent calls for government intervention to combat the concerning rise in antisemitism.

Melbourne Jewish school bolsters security after 'chilling' antisemitic graffiti incident
The school's fence has since been adorned with Australian and Israel flags.
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One of Melbourne's prominent Jewish day schools, Mount Scopus College, has been defaced with shocking antisemitic graffiti, sparking renewed calls for decisive government action against rising antisemitism.

The front fence of the Burwood campus was found vandalised on Saturday with the words “Jew die” sprayed in black paint.

Mount Scopus is celebrated as 'one of the world’s leading Jewish day schools.'

A year 11 student, who chose to remain anonymous, expressed profound distress over the incident.

“I am scared and sad that this is happening in Australia in 2024,” she said“I also wonder why the government is doing nothing to call out or stop the antisemitism.”

Jewish leaders have voiced their concerns, stating that the level of antisemitism is the worst it has been in decades. School principal Dan Sztrajt, notified early on Saturday, attributed the incident to the significant rise in antisemitism across the country.

“What’s happened here is a product of the massive rise in antisemitism we've seen across Australia over the last few months,” he stated, adding that increased security measures were necessary as students no longer felt safe.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission and former Mount Scopus student, condemned the vandalism.

“I am shattered and sickened by this open call to murder Jews,” he said. He stressed the urgency for government intervention, labelling the graffiti as a dangerous and hate-filled act targeting children.

Deputy Premier Ben Carroll, who recently experienced vandalism at his office, also condemned the graffiti.

“This has no place in Victoria. Hate has no place in Victoria,” he posted on X. “Our strength is our diversity. We come from 200 countries and practice 135 faiths.”

Philip Zajac, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, described the impact on the community.

“The death threat graffitied on Mount Scopus College has left our community devastated and in shock,” he said. Zajac urged the government to take clear action, including harsher penalties for vilification and proactive measures to curb hate.

“This graffiti cannot be seen as anything other than a death threat against Victorian children on the basis of their faith and culture,” he stated.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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