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Public menorah vandalized in Sicily

ROME (JTA) – For the second year in a row, vandals disrupted the public lighting of a Chanukah menorah in Catania, Sicily.

Local media reported that unknown persons detached the large menorah that had been set up in piazza Universita from its base, in order to prevent the third candle from being lit on Monday night.

Police are investigating the incident.

Last year, vandals damaged the menorah twice.

“Taking this all together, it’s clear that we are dealing with an anti-Semitic act of intolerance,” Benito Triolo, president of the Jewish cultural association B’nai Isaac, told the local Catania news website CTzen.it. B’nai Isaac organized the menorah lightings, which were staged for the first time four years ago.

A small number of Jews live in Catania, most of them descendants of Jews forced to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion more than 500 years ago who have recently reclaimed their roots.

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