Jewish Agency Building Vandalized in Russia
Swastikas spray-painted, ‘Everyone to Buchenwald’ written on buildings
The Jewish Agency for Israel building in St. Petersburg, Russia was vandalized earlier this week, as workers discovered it was spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti on Sunday morning, according to Ynetnews.
The graffiti included swastikas drawn on the Jewish Agency office building and the words “Everyone to Buchenwald” painted in large letters on the outside of nearby facing building.
One of the swastikas was also painted next to a sign for the Jewish University, a local Jewish organization housed in the same building as the Jewish Agency.
The agency is located in one of St. Petersburg’s central neighbourhoods. The city is home to several local Jewish organizations and approximately 100,000 Jews.
However, there is no sign indicating the presence of the Jewish Agency there, according to the JTA.
In the past, Jewish tombstones have been desecrated in the Russian city, and an explosive device was once placed outside a local synagogue.
“In recent days, we have witnessed a surge in anti-Semitic incidents, primarily in Western Europe,” said Amon Hermon, head of The Jewish Agency Task Force on Anti-Semitism.
These incidents included a recent assault by three people on a rabbi in France while he was riding the subway. A yeshiva student was also recently assaulted by four men in London while Jewish cemeteries were desecrated in Germany.
In Riga, Latvia on Wednesday, a demonstration by hundreds of nationalists took place opposing Holocaust commemoration during an educational Holocaust remembrance event outside the city’s Great Synagogue.
“The incidents generally involve hateful graffiti targeting Jews, but some have also included violence,” said Hermon. The Jewish Agency will continue to work with Jewish communities in order to combat anti-Semitic and anti-Israel phenomena around the world.”