Ottawa's Machzikei Hadas Synagogue Vandalized With Anti-Semitic Graffiti

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The prime minister decried anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted at a Jewish place of worship in Ottawa — marking city's third act of racist vandalism in days.

Congregates first noticed swastikas and racist slurs painted on the doors and walls of Machzikei Hadas synagogue on Thursday morning, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Police have launched an investigation.

One message encouraged murder in order to "save the white race."

The building's security cameras were also covered with red paint.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka said based on security footage the incident happened sometime after midnight on Thursday, according to CTV News.

Bulka told CBC News this isn't the first time the synagogue has been vandalized.

He said he's hoping that it's "one lone crazy."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Thursday that the Canadian government denounces "recent acts of anti-Semitism in the strongest terms."

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was quick to call the spate of racist vandalism as "cowardly," saying Ottawa "prides itself on being a tolerant and welcoming community for all."

Similar graffiti was found earlier this week on the front door of a Jewish prayer centre in the city's Glebe neighbourhood.

The Kehillat Beth Israel congregation — the largest in Ottawa — confirmed their synagogue had also been targeted by a similar attack last weekend, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Police were called, but officials chose not to publicize the incident.

Congregation co-president Stuart McCarthy said the group decided not to publicize the event because they felt it was "likely the sort of thing these vandals want."

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau told CTV Ottawa that this many incidents in a week is not normal.

"We're going to do everything we can ... to identify who's responsible for this and hold them accountable," he said.