9 gravestones vandalized in Jewish cemetery in Argentina


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Nine gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Argentina were vandalized.

The incident in San Luis city, in northwest Argentina, occurred sometime over the weekend.

Saada Bentolila, a leader of the local Jewish community, told reporters that the cemetery’s security cameras were vandalized and broken shortly before the attack.

“They want to harm, to spread fear. It’s a clear anti-Semitic attack to our cemetery that is located next to the Del Rosario Cemetery,” he said, noting the non-Jewish cemetery was not vandalized.

The Argentine Jewish political umbrella organization DAIA said it “repudiates the attack.”

“The act of vandalism was caused by strangers who climbed the walls and destroyed marble headstones, bronze plates, and other objects” at the cemetery, DAIA said Monday in a statement.

The vandalism was discovered the same day as Argentina’s chief rabbi and his wife were attacked in their Buenos Aires home.

Anti-Semitic incidents in Argentina rose by 14 percent in 2017 over the previous year, according to a DAIA report, the most recent national statistics. Online anti-Semitic incidents made up 88 percent of the 2017 total, nearly double the 47 percent in 2014.

Argentina has had an anti-discrimination law on the books since 1988.

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