A synagogue in Leeds has been defaced with a swastika and anti-Semitic graffiti which has caused ‘widespread upset and concern’.

“Vile” messages including “kikes get out” and a Nazi symbol was found at Etz Chaim orthodox shul this week.

The swastika symbol was drawn in red onto a signpost for the synagogue alongside the word ‘kikes’, an offensive term for Jews. The road in front of the entrance to the shul was defaced with ‘kikes get out’.

West Yorkshire Police told Jewish News: “At 8:41am today, police received a report of anti-Semitic graffiti at the Etz Chaim Synagogue, in Harrogate Road, Leeds.

Officers attended the scene and a hate crime has been recorded and is under investigation.

Officers from the Inner North East Neighbourhood Policing Team are aware of the incident and are increasing their patrols of the area to reassure the community and are liaising with key representatives.”

Labour MP Fabian Hamilton told Jewish News: ““As a Jew, the vandalism at the Etz Chaim synagogue in Alwoodley was particularly hurtful for me on a personal level, but to happen in my own constituency was even more of a disappointment.”

It is important we treat anti-Semitism the same way we oppose all forms of hate, regardless of religion – and respond by promoting tolerance, love and unity.”

This was not only vandalism, but an anti-Semitic hate crime and an attack on an entire community. Make no mistake, there is no place for this hate in Leeds North East – a constituency that prides itself on multiculturalism where people of all faiths, and none, work and live together peacefully.”

They urge any witnesses to come forward, saying it is believed to have happened overnight.

The synagogue is situated in on Harrogate Rd in Alwoodley, an area of north Leeds with a significant Jewish community.

Etz Chaim synagogue have been contacted for comment.

Graffiti daubed outside Etz Chaim synagogue 'reading kikes get out'

Graffiti daubed outside Etz Chaim synagogue ‘reading kikes get out’