Menu JTA Search

Police: Synagogue arson is ‘hooliganism

Police in the Russian city of Samara have classified an arson attack on a local synagogue as “hooliganism,” angering local Jewish activists.”This was not in any way an act of hooliganism,” a community member quoted on condition of anonymity told the Web site. “Somebody planned this, somebody built the explosive device, somebody placed it there. I see this as an act aimed against the Jewish people. I hope that this case won’t have the brakes applied to it and that the culprits are found.”The May 5 attack, in which an explosive device was detonated in front of the synagogue, is the latest in a string of attacks on the Jewish community in Samara. In April, a community member’s home was attacked by an arsonist and anti-Semitic graffiti reading “Kikes to Israel” was
painted on a fence near the synagogue. Anti-Semitic leaflets also
have been circulating throughout the city.Police officials say they’re not convinced the attacks are linked and see no reason to investigate them under Russia’s hate-crimes law, which mandates tougher penalties for “the incitement of hatred or enmity” aimed at a particular minority group.”The fact that the explosion took place at the window of the synagogue says nothing in and of itself,” a local police official said.