Daily Israel Report

France: Kosher Stores Vandalized

Swastikas discovered on frontages of kosher stores in Paris.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/3/2010, 12:08 AM / Last Update: 8/3/2010, 12:05 AM

The Union of Jewish Students in France (UEJF) announced on Sunday that Swastikas had been discovered last Thursday on the frontages and windows of a dozen kosher stores in Paris.

A police source in Paris said that four Nazi swastikas were traced with a black marker on two shops, as well as on the wall of a Jewish school and on a nearby building of the Boulevard Voltaire (which is located in Paris’ 11th district).

UEJF described the incident as “a new demonstration of anti-Semitic hatred.”

In an official statement made following the attack on the Paris stories, Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said: “I make a point of expressing my emotion and my indignation following the discovery of swastikas on frontages of the Voltaire boulevard. Such acts, which recall the darkest hours of our history, should not remain unpunished. In the name of Paris, I repeat my determination to fight without a break against anti-Semitism, and to defend the values of tolerance and of respect which found the identity of our City.”

The attack on the stores came only a few days after more than two dozen graves were desecrated at a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg in northeastern France. Sources reported that the tombstones were overturned and damaged, and covered in profanities.

This was the second time this year that such an incident occurred in the area. In January, some 30 gravestones were vandalized in the same cemetery, including 18 painted with swastikas and 13 overturned. The German phrase “Juden Raus” (“Jews out”) was written on one of the tombstones. The vandalism was discovered on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The attacks in Paris come after several other anti-Semitic incidents reported over the last several weeks. Last Monday morning, parents who arrived to drop off their children at B’Nai Shalom Synagogue’s summer day camp in Olney, Maryland, discovered that swastikas and the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work will set you free, the same words that were on the sign above the Auschwitz concentration camp) and “Juden raus” were spray-painted along the building. Two homes in the vicinity were also spray-painted with swastikas.

Earlier in the month of July, an explosion hit the Jewish synagogue in Malmo, Sweden, shattering three window panes but causing no injuries. This followed another explosion in the same synagogue two weeks earlier, again without injuries.