Synagogue attacks condemned

Published Monday, 21 July 2014
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Politicians have condemned two attacks on a north Belfast synagogue at the weekend which police are treating as religious hate crimes.

Synagogue attacks condemned
Belfast's Synagogue was attacked twice at the weekend. (© UTV)

A window was smashed by a number of people at the place of worship on Somerton Road sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

The window was replaced, but it was smashed again at some point on Saturday afternoon or evening.

Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin MLA for north Belfast, has condemned the attacks.

"There can be no place for attacks on any place of worship, regardless of the religion or denomination.

"The local Jewish community makes a valuable contribution to our society and there is no justification for hate crimes."

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt said: "This smashing of windows at the Synagogue on Somerton Road should be condemned by all, it is totally unacceptable that any place of worship should be targeted.

"The Jewish community have been valuable members of our society for many years. We offered refuge during the Second World War to many fleeing the Holocaust and it is abhorrent that the Synagogue has been the target of this hate crime."

The DUP's North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said: "This is a disgraceful and despicable action. Those who have such hatred in their hearts to carry out this attack must be condemned.

"The Jewish community are a long established part of Belfast and have a rich history in the City. I trust the police will be able to apprehend those responsible for this latest act of hatred."

Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister said that everyone has the right to celebrate their religion in peace and without fear of intimidation or threat.

"This right does not stop in North Belfast and it is extremely disappointing that this attack has taken place.

"No place of worship should ever fall victim to this type of thuggish behaviour. Those behind this despicable incident have done nothing but unite the North Belfast community as people from all backgrounds join in condemning this unfounded attack."

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Gerard in Far Far Away wrote (191 days ago):
It's just wrong and there is NOTHING that can justify this... but I believe some knuckle-dragging clown will try to... The North of Ireland... what a place it it...
Supporter in Belfast wrote (191 days ago):
In my youth i went out with a lovely Jewish girl from the Glandore area, Reni was her name and her family were lovely decent people who cared little for any type of trouble, leave the people alone and let them worship in peace, I just wish there were more of them in NI they have great heads gor business, Long live Israel.
lucylou in belfast wrote (191 days ago):
Another target for a few thick! thick! thick! misguided louts who wouldn't recognise a brave act if they saw it. I am glad to see a number of different parties condemn these no brain cretins for these attacks as should be the case when any property is vandalised regardless of what religion or section of the community they may be associated with. If these numbskulls are under the impression that this is a way to show support for any middle eastern community then it highlights even more that what brain cells they may have must be few in number and exceedingly lonely. If it is youngsters then they live what they learn from the adults around them.
Nonbigot in Lurgan wrote (191 days ago):
Just a cowardly act , leave the Jewish people alone they've went through enough, only a few of their people live in NI and they are as irish as the rest of us, why pick on them. They are the chosen people, just let them live in peace here they are doing you no harm, I wonder if you would be do brave against the Mossad ?
janny in belfast wrote (191 days ago):
No doubt that these vandals support the palestinians, but do they realise that the people they support have been offered deals to suit them as far back as 2007. Egypt and Israel both offered major incentives to enable them to be independent. But no, they are still sending in rockets and digging the tunnels. Breaking windows in Belfast or anywhere else is not going to do anything. The jews arent called gods chosen people for nothing! After all christianity is a sect of judaism as is islam.
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