Me­mo­rial van­dals say Athens syn­a­gogue is next

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY VIC­TOR ELIEZER

LAST FRI­DAY, van­dals de­faced a Holo­caust me­mo­rial in Athens.

The at­tack­ers left a note in black marker pen on one of the stones, say­ing that they would re­turn to de­stroy the nearby syn­a­gogue.

The graf­fiti read: “Par Ak­oum 2 of the Tal­moud, the con­verted Jews should be ex­e­cuted … be in­formed by the unit against ter­ror­ism, we will make the syn­a­gogue plot [sic].”

Erected in 2010, the mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rates the 60,000 Greek Jews who were mur­dered in the Holo­caust.

The me­mo­rial is just 50m from the Athens’ Beit Shalom syn­a­gogue and the Jewish com­mu­nity’s of­fices.

Also nearby is the lo­ca­tion where the Nazis rounded up the Jews of the Greek cap­i­tal be­fore send­ing them to con­cen­tra­tion camps. More than 1,000 Athe­nian Jews per­ished in the Holo- caust. To­day, 3,000 Jews live in Athens.

The pres­i­dent of the Cen­tral Board of the Jewish Com­mu­ni­ties in Greece, Ben­jamin Al­balas, con­demned the van­dal­ism as shame­ful. He noted that Greek po­lice rushed to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent.

The pres­i­dent of the Jewish com­mu­nity of Athens, Mi­nos Moi­sis, said: “We will not al­low any­one to harm the mem­ory of Holo­caust vic­tims and threaten the com­mu­nity. Our strug­gle against an­tisemitism and racism is sus­tained and we will not stop. We are not afraid.”

The in­ci­dent comes sev­eral weeks af­ter van­dals des­e­crated the Jewish ceme­tery in the north­ern city of Thes­sa­loniki.

A re­cent Anti-Defama­tion League sur­vey showed that Greece has Europe’s high­est rate of an­tisemitic at­ti­tudes, with 69 per cent of Greeks es­pous­ing anti-Jewish views.

Vi­o­lin­ists com­pare in­stru­ments at the Jewish Cul­ture Fes­ti­val in Krakow this week. It runs un­til Sun­day


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