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Graffiti Scrawled on Gravestones in Chile Refer to Spanish Expulsion

Some 100 gravestones were vandalized Monday in a Jewish cemetery in southern Chile, the World Jewish Congress reported.

Among the anti-Semitic graffiti at the cemetery in Temuco, Chile, were slogans referring to the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Spain, said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the WJC.

One of the slogans said, "Jews, you were expelled from Spain in 1492. It can happen again," Steinberg was told by Manuel Tenenbaum, director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, headquartered in Buenos Aires.

Tuesday marked the 500th anniversary of the edict ordering Jews expelled from Spain.

The graffiti, which also included Stars of David but not swastikas, were spray-painted on the gravestones.

Only a handful of Jews are now believed to live in the area, Steinberg said, adding: "There was a larger community at the turn of the century."

He estimated that the cemetery contains a few hundred graves.

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