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Thursday, 16 September 2010

Swastikas painted on Moldova synagogue

Kishinev Jews stunned by anti-Semitic display; community demands more security for Yom Kippur 

Worshippers who arrived at the Great Synagogue in Kishinev Tuesday were stunned to discover swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs spray-painted on its walls.

"This is an especially disturbing incident, as Moldova is not known as an anti-Semitic country," local Chief Rabbi Zalman Abelsky told Ynet.

The incident stirred great interest in the local media, with numerous public figures expressing their shock over the anti-Semitic display. Israel's consul general in Moldova, Stav Nezhinsky, and other Jewish community leaders arrived at the synagogue Tuesday and agreed to invest the utmost effort to eliminate such incidents.

"We wish to eliminate this phenomenon, which is the work of marginal organizations that refer to themselves as 'neo-Nazis," Rabby Abelsky said. He added that in his 20 years in Moldova he had not seen "a humiliating act like the one at the entrance to the synagogue."

Meanwhile, one of the local Jewish community leaders, Simcha Weinberg, asked top police and government officials to act immediately in order to eliminate anti-Semitism. He urged authorities to undertake immense efforts in order to capture the perpetrators of the act and boost security at the Great Synagogue and other Jewish institutions ahead of the upcoming Yom Kippur prayers.
This isn't the first time anti-Semitism rears its ugly head in Moldova. In Hanukkah last year, dozens of protestors led by an Orthodox minister used hammers and metal rods to shatter a Menorah placed in Kishinev over the holiday. The demonstrators chanted anti-Semitic slurs and said they "will not allow the Jews to rule Moldova," removing the Menorah and posting a cross in its place.  
Ynet News