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Campion College defaced by anti-semitic graffiti

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Anti-semitic grafitti at Campion. Photo: Supplied
Anti-semitic grafitti at Campion. Photo: Supplied

Campion College president Dr Paul Morrissey said he was mystified by the appearance of Nazi swastikas and violent messages spray painted around the Catholic liberal arts college’s Toongabbie campus last month.

He said there had never been a graffiti attack at Campion before and it was a shock to the staff who discovered it, although students were not affected as the campus had been closed for the summer break.

“It was a bit bizarre and happened at the same time there was anti-Semitic graffiti appearing around other parts of Sydney, and we are obviously committed to the study of the Judeo-Christian heritage so maybe that was part of the reason,” Morrissey said.

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“We really don’t know who did it or why, but any anti-Semitic violence cuts to the heart of our faith and hurts our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Jewish supporters of Campion College include Australia Jewish Association president David Adler and honorary fellow of the College Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, who is the director of the Institute for Judaism and Civilisation.

The abusive graffiti appeared on the chapel door, in the reception area and other parts of the original building around the liberal arts college after it was closed for Christmas.

Messages included “die,” “we love Hitler,” “heil Hitler” and obscene language.

“It was disgusting and very sad,” Dr Morrissey said.

Police were unable to find the culprits and the vandalism was cleaned before the campus was opened for a two-week summer school program in January.

Federal senator Maria Kovacic condemned the attack in Federal Parliament on 6 February as part of a growing display of anti-Semitism since the beginning of the Israel-Gaza war.

“This conflict has allowed the mask to slip for antisemites, who have capitalised on human suffering to attack Jewish communities across the globe,” she said.

“This antisemitism is so toxic it has skewed the way we see our fellow human beings.

“If your movement requires fear, chaos, disruption and intimidation to get its message across, then your movement does not have a place in a liberal democracy like Australia.

“If your movement inspires people to vandalise Catholic schools with hate speech, like we saw at Campion College in Parramatta, or it normalises antisemitism, then it’s not about Israel—it’s about Jews.”

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