17 May 2010
A Jewish cemetery in Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, has been desecrated with graffiti and a tomb set on fire. Vandals used rags and gasoline to set fire to a tomb in the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki on 13 May, according to reports.
Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti reading "Fire to the Jews" and "Juden raus" [Jews out] appeared on a number of tombstones, in the alleys and on the surrounding wall of the cemetery.
Following a phone call to police by an area resident, three young men were arrested as suspects.
Greece has seen a surge in anti-Semitic attacks in the past year.
The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece sent letters condemning the attack to two government ministers and issued a news release expressing Greek Jewry's outrage at the attack. The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki sent a letter to local law enforcement authorities.
David Saltiel, president of the central board and the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, compared last week's attack to the recent court acquittal of neo-Nazi writer Kostas Plevris.
"This attack is one more consequence directly related to the court decision to acquit a neo-Nazi writer who incites to acts of violence against the Greek Jews, as well as to the recent Supreme Court decision to dismiss the cassation in favor of the law filed by the Prosecutor against the acquittal verdict," Saltiel said. "Our Board was not heard when it had warned of the deriving dangers."
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