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Synagogue Set on Fire, Cemetery Desecrated

Unknown persons set fire to the door of the Perpignan synagogue in the center of the city after Sabbath services last Friday night. The charred remains of gasoline cans were found in front of the seriously damaged door. The only evidence of the perpetrators’ identity was the inscription “O.S.C.” on a synagogue wall, the secretary general of the city’s 2000-member Jewish community told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today. He said he did not know what the initials stood for and has asked for a police investigation.

Also on Friday night, the walls of the city’s Jewish cemetery were found covered with the inscriptions “O.S.C.” and “Catalonia to the Catalans.” Perpignan is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Spanish border. It is France’s Catalonian region, and its inhabitants consider themselves Catalan and speak the Catalan language, which is also spoken around Barcelona in northeastern Spain. The Jewish community’s secretary general said there might be some connections between the incidents and the opening yesterday of a film festival titled “Reflections on the Jewish Question in the Cinema.”

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