Vandals Strike Jewish Cemetery in Eighth Incident in England
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Vandals Strike Jewish Cemetery in Eighth Incident in England

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Vandals struck the Jewish cemetery at Failsworth in the Greater Manchester area Sunday night, spraying 41 gravestones with anti-Semitic graffiti.

The doors to a chapel were daubed with swastikas and Stars of David suspended from gallows.

The incident was the eighth major instance of Jewish cemetery desecration in Britain since the Edmonton cemetery in North London was attacked in May.

That occurred a few days after a vicious assault on the ancient Jewish cemetery in Carpentras in southern France during the night of May 9 made world headlines.

The police have had little success apprehending the perpetrators. They are still hunting for the intruders who daubed swastikas on 72 gravestones in the Blackley Jewish cemetery, also near Manchester, in July.

The Failsworth cemetery is administered by the Holy Law and South Broughton Hebrew Congregation.

According to its president, Morely Wolfson, “Failsworth is the main Manchester cemetery. On Sunday it was busy all day with people visiting their parents’ graves. One of my own family members’ graves has been daubed,” he said.

The attack was discovered Monday morning by the caretaker. “Entry appears to have been over a low wall,” according to a spokesman of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

He said the Board of Deputies has been advising synagogue authorities to erect high walls with barbed wire around their cemeteries.


Meanwhile, high-ranking police officials have publicly expressed frustration over the lack of progress in prosecuting hate crimes.

Sir Peter Imbert, commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, disclosed that 19 cases have been forwarded to the attorney general, who decides whether they should be followed up by the director of public prosecutions.

“In each case, including instances of blood libel leaflets, it was decided not to prosecute,” Imbert told members of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women.

“Are their hands tied?” he asked, making clear that the blame for letting instigators of race hate operate with apparent impunity did not lie with the police.

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