TORONTO (Jul. 2)
Three synagogues here have been vandalized in what is seen as a reaction to the arrest Sunday of white supremacist Tom Metzger, 54, and his son, John, 24.
They were charged with violating immigration laws that bar entry into the country of anyone likely to incite racial hatred.
The elder Metzger is leader of the California-based White Aryan Resistance and former grand dragon of the California Ku Klux Klan.
The Metzgers came to Canada to address a clandestine meeting of Toronto’s racist Heritage Front.
They will be deported to the United States, where Tom Metzger faces a jail sentence for leaving the country without permission. The restriction is part of his probation terms, imposed after he was convicted last December in Los Angeles of participating in a cross-burning ceremony.
The synagogues that were defaced were all within three miles of one another in suburban North York and the neighboring city of Vaughan. They were spray-painted with swastikas and slogans like “Die Jews,” “Hitler lives,” “PLO” and “Arabs rule.”
It was the first such act of vandalism this year, according to B’nai Brith Canada spokesman Warren Bass.
“We are absolutely convinced that this is the work of white supremacists and is not at all related to the Arab community, and that the goons who did this also harbor racist feelings against Arabs,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The Canadian Jewish Congress has posted a $5,000 (Canadian) award for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the desecration of the shuls.
The Metzgers were detained following an international investigation led by the Immigration Department, which involved the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Toronto police intelligence units, the Ontario Provincial Police, the FBI, the Los Angeles Police and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
The Heritage Front, in a taped telephone message Tuesday, cited B’nai Brith as part of an “unholy alliance” with Marxists, anarchists and Trotskyites.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has filed for an injunction to pull the plug on the front’s telephone hotline.
(JTA correspondent Tom Tugend in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)REMINDER: The JTA Dally News Bulletin will not be published on Monday, July 6.