MADRID (JTA) — Vandals defaced the area in front of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement’s Barcelona synagogue with graffiti that read “Why do you kill in Palestine” early on Wednesday.
The incident, which occurred on Yom Haatzmaut, or Israel’s independence day, prompted outrage from the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the Israelite Community of Barcelona and other Jewish groups.
“This isn’t politics. It’s a synagogue!” tweeted the account of the Israelite Community of Barcelona, which celebrated its centennial in 2018. It is not affiliated with Chabad, the international Hasidic movement.
This is the second act of graffiti vandalism on one of the city’s synagogues in nine days, following a similar incident on April 17 at the Great Synagogue of Barcelona, coinciding with the commemoration of Yom HaShoah, or Israel’s Holocaust remembrance day. There the graffiti read: “Free Palestine from the river to the sea. Solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain umbrella group strongly condemned Wednesday’s act, writing in a statement that “attacking places of worship of Jewish men and women in Barcelona is a clear demonstration of antisemitism.”
In February, Mayor Ada Colau decided to end Barcelona’s twin city designation with Tel Aviv, after a 25-year partnership. Colau had said that Israel is guilty of “apartheid,” as well as “flagrant and systematic violation of human rights.”