Friday, August 29, 2008

Vandalism At Jewish Cemetary In Russia

Makhachkala, Russia -- Earlier this month, vandals wreaked havoc at two Jewish cemeteries in Makhachkala, in the Dagestan province of Russia. At the time the vandalism was first noticed, only 12 graves had been damaged, but when members of the community returned the next day they discovered that more than 80 headstones had been smashed.
"We counted the destroyed monuments only in the new cemetery and we still do not know how many graves were desecrated in the other," the leader of the Jewish community, Shimi Dibiyaev reported.In his opinion, the vandals got into the cemetary by scaling the fence.
"Over a long period of time we have tried to find money in order to raise the height of the fence a meter and a half, but so far without results. We appealed to many people for help but have received no answer from anybody," the leader said.
Shimi Dibiyaev is firmly committed to fighting with manifestations of antisemitism in multinational Dagestan. "I will do everything possible so that these vandals are not only caught but also punished," he repeats. "Last time they managed to arrest the vandals, but for unclear reasons after a short time they were released. We intend to turn not only to the police but also to the prosecutor's office," the leader of the Jewish community emphasized.

Makhachkala has a long history of ongoing anti-semitic vandalism. Last year, the windows of the local Shul were smashed when vandals hurled concrete blocks through the glass. And the cemetary is the site of almost yearly destruction and theft of tombstones.

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