A grave expression of anti-Semitism was discovered in Strasbourg, France, Wednesday: Knesset Members Shlomo Molla (Kadima) and Amnon Cohen (Shas), who attended a city ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that the local Jewish cemetery was desecrated by neo-Nazis, and closed by police.
Upon trying to visit the graveyard, which was founded in 1810, the two found 31 of desecrated headstones: "It was a horrible sight, which probably stemmed from the rising anti-Semitism is Europe," Molla told Ynet.
"There were dozens of shattered tombstones, swastikas sprayed everywhere – complete destruction. This is a heinous crime," he added. "And today of all days, when dozens of European dignitaries attending the ceremony… this is a reminder that anti-Semitism is alive. World nations must pass laws against such anti-Semitic expressions."
Israeli consul to Marseille Simona Frankel, who arrived at the cemetery said the perpetrators "must have has extraordinary ill will, considering the temperatures in Strasbourg dropped below -10 last night.
"The timing, obviously isn’t coincidental, either. There's some anti-Semitism in France, but this is the first time I've come across it personally. I can't even describe the shock."
The cemetery (Photo courtesy of MK Shlomo Molla)
Gilbert Roos, Israel's honorary consul to Strasbourg, said the city is home to 17,000 Jews: "Unfortunately, we see such incidents here from time to time. Every once in a while the incidental idiot, some neo-Nazi or a member of a far-right group will carry out this kind of anti-Semitic act.
"We're not afraid, but this kind of thing seems to be happing more often. Mostly, we're just appalled that 65 yeas after the war this kind of thing still exists."
The report about the Strasbourg cemetery desecration came at the same time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was addressing the crowd at an International Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial in Auschwitz.
"We will always remember what the Nazi Amalek did to us, and we won't forget to be prepared for the new Amalek, who is making an appearance on the stage of history and once again threatening to destroy the Jews," Netanyahu said at the ceremony.