Vandalising Jewish Cemeteries is nothing new.
Is it a case of they can’t get rid of us whilst we are alive so
“Let’s give it a shot now they are dead?”
One of the worst cases known to the Jewish Community, that’s if you can name any one as being worse than another, would be the vandalism and wanton destruction in the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, during the 19 years in which Jordan illegally occupied Judaea and Samaria.
During that time Arabs uprooted tombstones and ploughed the land in the cemeteries and an estimated 38,000 tombstones were damaged in total.
During this same period, four roads were paved through the cemetery, in the process destroying graves, including those of famous people.
King Hussein of Jordan permitted the construction of the Intercontinental Hotel, now called The Seven Arches Hotel, at the summit of the Mount of Olives, together with a road that cut through the cemetery, which destroyed hundreds of Jewish graves, some from the First Temple Period.
Graves were also demolished for parking and a service station and were even used in lavatories at a Jordanian Army barracks.
‘‘It is a desecration,” he said.
”I would prefer to think it wasn’t [a racially motivated attack], and that it was just a childish act … but it is a fairly nasty incident.”
Police were treating the matter seriously and were appealing for any witnesses.
”We would love to catch up with the person who has done it.”
Andrew Spiegel, of the Dunedin Jewish Congregation, said the Dunedin Jewish community was ”extremely saddened”.
”We find this type of vandalism not only to be ignorant and stupid, but also state that the underlying menace behind it is disturbing and worrying.”
He said that would not want to see it repeated on the graves of anyone’s loved ones, ”no matter what their religion”, and hoped police were able to catch those responsible to see them ‘‘brought to justice”.
The second case of vandalism last weekend occurred at the the main Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace, on the German border, where up to 400 gravestones were vandalised by being kicked over, broken and/or had Nazi swastikas daubed on them in red paint according to the Daily Mail
The JTA reports that in addition to knocking over the tombstones, a monument to Holocaust victims also was vandalised.
The UK Telegraph reports that five teenagers aged between 15 and 17, who all come from Sarre-Union in Alsace, eastern France, have been arrested on suspicion of the vandalism of around 300 tombs.
The youngest came forward after seeing the scale of the reaction across the country to the vandalism, Philippe Vannier, the prosecutor, said
“Apparently, he was very, very affected by the scale of the reaction to this affair, including the statements from the highest state authorities”..
The boy, who was encouraged to hand himself in by one of his friends, denied any anti-Semitic motive, Mr Vannier added.
“We don’t know the motives of these adolescents who don’t have past criminal records and we don’t know of any ideological convictions that could explain their behaviour.
“They are very, very shocked by the turn of events.”
As well as overturning tombstones and opening vaults, the five youths all but destroyed a monument to the victims of the Holocaust at the entrance.
One attack which has gone almost unnoticed was in Germany.
The Jerusalem Post reports that a Jewish Cemetery in northern German city of Oldenburg was desecrated, mirroring the French vandalism. Both have been the target of vandalism previously.
Police are investigating the incident which left swastikas splattered on the cemetery’s entrance, a wall, as well as on two parked cars.
The New Antisemite reported at the beginning of February:
The fence of a Jewish cemetery in Warsaw considered to be one of the largest in Europe was defaced.
The attack on the Okopowa Street cemetery took place on Saturday; the vandalism was discovered the next day. Burials are still held in part of the cemetery.
“Jews for slaughter” and the date 10.12.14 were spray-painted in red on the fence. The date is when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the ban on ritual slaughter was unconstitutional. Also, the cemetery gate was painted with yellow emulsion paint.
JTA reported that cemetery Director Przemyslaw Szpilman said that he did not know if the vandalism was an “immature prank or a political issue.”
“Such incidents do not happen very often. In 2013, someone painted a swastika on the wall of the cemetery, but for the last 12 years nothing like that has happened,”
he told JTA.
Anna Chipczynska, President of the Jewish Community of Warsaw said that
“Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we have to deal with the manifestation of hatred against Jews. ‘Jews for slaughter’ is not only a humiliation that society cannot ignore, it is an invitation to violence and threats to which we should all be vigilant.”
“It is sad, that the deceased perish for the decisions of the living,”
Piotr Kadlcik, former president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA.
A swastika was sprayed on the gates of the cemetery, while the word “Juden,” the Nazi SS symbol, and the epithet “six million more” were scrawled on the cemetery walls, the Jewish community there said Wednesday.
“We urge the justice authorities, local government and police to take all necessary steps to arrest and punish the guilty and protect the Jewish holy places in our country,”
said a joint statement from the Jewish Community of Larissa and the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece.
There have been several instances of vandalism this year in Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials in Greece.
“Anti-Semitism is not only a threat to Jews. Anti-Semitism is a threat to our democracy,” the statement said.
A recent Anti-Defamation League survey showed that Greece has Europe’s highest rate of anti-Semitic attitudes, with 69 percent of Greeks espousing anti-Semitic views. That is nearly twice the rate as the next highest country, France, with 37 percent.