Hampstead candidate’s poster target of anti-Semitism
MONTREAL — About 60 campaign posters of a candidate in the Nov. 3 Hampstead municipal election were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti over the night of Oct. 25, a Friday.
Warren Budning, who is Jewish, as are about 80 per cent of the town’s residents, found that the photo of his face was daubed with a Hitler-like moustache, and many of the posters had swastikas or Nazi slogans like “Heil Hitler” written on them.
The signs were taken down by the next day.
Police said no other candidates’ posters appeared to have been similarly vandalized. Budning thinks that’s because his posters are the largest and make the easiest target.
Budning is a young, independent candidate, running for one of Hampstead’s five council seats. He worked for the town for eight years and is now an entrepreneur.
Mayoral candidate Bonnie Feigenbaum, who is trying to unseat incumbent William Steinberg, speculates that the perpetrator or perpetrators came from outside Hampstead.
“In no way, shape or form do I believe that it’s one of our candidates who did this,” she told Global TV. “There’s no way a Jew would do this to another Jew.” All candidates in the race are Jewish.
The vandalism was denounced by Montreal mayoral candidate Mélanie Joly’s slate that is running in the Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough, which borders on Hampstead.
“Vandalism of campaign signs, regardless of your political opinions, is never acceptable. We vigorously denounce such distasteful and hateful actions…” stated Andrew Ross, the team’s borough mayor candidate.
“Petty vandalism like this degrades the entire democratic process and we will not stand for it.”