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Jewish cemetery vandalized in Georgia

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A Jewish cemetery in the former Soviet republic of Georgia was vandalized.

Locals say it was the first attack of its kind in memory.

Last week’s incident included a swastika painted on a headstone and other damage, the local newspaper Batumelebi reported.

The cemetery is outside of the regional capital of Batumi in the Adjaran Autonomous Republic near the Turkey-Georgia border.

“I could never have imagined this would happen here,” said Emil Krupnik, the head of the Association of Georgian-Jewish Relations in Batumi. “Local residents here were also alarmed by this [incident].”

The director of the cemetery, Nodar Jorbenadze, told a television station based in Georgia’s capital that this was the first time the cemetery had ever been attacked.

A criminal investigation into the vandalism is being conducted.

“I believe that perpetrators will be held responsible,” said Israel’s ambassador to Georgia, Shabtai Tsur.

A Georgian public defender said there is no history of anti-Semitism in the country and that his government did not intend to turn a blind eye now.

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