My mother informed me that there was an attack on a Jewish elementary school this morning. It was a disgusting act and I'm sorry that this had to happen in Canada. I'm sorry these acts happen at all in this world.
This article is from CBC News:
Prime minister condemns attack on Montreal Jewish school
MONTREAL - Prime Minister Paul Martin has called the attack on a Jewish elementary school in Montreal "an act of violence directed at all Canadians" that will not be tolerated.
Martin joined community leaders and police in condemning the attack on the United Talmud Torah elementary school. "The attack against a place of learning, where young children gather, is an offence against everything that Canadians cherish. But the assault was not directed against the Jewish community of Montreal. It was an act of violence directed at all Canadians and at our freedom."
Inspecting the damage at the United Talmud Torah elementary school in Montreal.(CP PHOTO)
Police say a fire in the school library early Monday morning was deliberately set ? and they're calling it a hate crime.
Workers spent the day vacuuming up the water left by firefighters, but the library is beyond hope. The room is black and charred and almost all the books are destroyed. Police say the fire started after someone threw a flammable substance through the library window.
At the front door police found a note referring to the Middle East, but they won't give any more details.
Not only did the prime minister denounce the attack, so did the mayor of Montreal, members of Parliament and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler. They gathered in the school gymnasium to show support for the Jewish community.
Cotler used to be a student at the school. He says he's just relieved there were no injuries. "Absolutely nothing ... can justify such an act," he said.
"We unequivocally condemn these acts of racist hate. We unequivocally condemn these racist hate crimes. And we will not be silent. And we will not be intimidated," said Cotler.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest issued an official statement condemning the fire, saying that "such gestures are intolerable" and called on all Quebecers to denounce the act.
Last month, B'nai Brith Canada reported an increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2003, saying there were almost 600 cases of violence, harassment and vandalism against Jews and over 100 such incidents in Quebec alone.
Last week, Toronto police arrested three teenagers in connection with a string of anti-Semitic hate crimes two weekends ago that included the desecration of a Jewish cemetery.
Parents and children gathered outside the school to show their support, but the experience seems to have left a mark on some of the students. Eleven-year-old Isabelle Malka, a Grade 5 student, says she's "terrified."
No one was hurt because the school is closed for Passover. The school will reopen on April 15.
Some parents say they are concerned about the safety of their children. Police say security will be increased at all Jewish institutions in Montreal throughout the Passover period.