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Holocaust Memorial, Synagogue Defaced in Geneva

Members of the Jewish community in Geneva find anti-Semitic symbols on a Holocaust monument and local synagogue.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 4/27/2012, 9:58 PM

Anti-Semitism (illustration)
Anti-Semitism (illustration)
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Members of the Jewish community in Geneva, Switzerland, woke up on Friday morning and discovered that anti-Semitic symbols had been sprayed overnight on a monument to Holocaust victims who had lived in the city, according to a Channel 2 News report.

The report said that symbols had also been sprayed on the outer wall of a local synagogue.

Dr. Yitzhak Dayan, the Chief Rabbi of Geneva, told Channel 2 News that he believed the timing of the incident was not accidental.

“Yesterday we celebrated here Israel's Independence Day. There was a party organized by the Israeli Embassy in the UN in one of the largest hotel in town, “he said.

He added that after the incident “there was another celebration, this time initiated by the Jewish community. Right in the middle of the party we heard that wing extremists and anti-Semites sent us a ‘gift’ on the occasion of Independence Day - swastikas on the memorial to Holocaust victims.”

Rabbi Dayan noted that local Jews were also horrified to discover swastikas sprayed on the front of the largest Sephardic synagogue in the city. One Jewish community leader in Geneva was as saying: “We are outraged at the anti-Semitic rage act which came exactly a week after Yom Hashoah.”

Rabbi Dayan noted that in the local community members intend to file a formal complaint to police about the incident, adding that he believed that “the security cameras in the area will help us to find the people responsible for this crime and hold them accountable.”

Last month, a similar incident occurred when a Holocaust memorial was vandalized in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

A recent report has shown that there has been an increase in the number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents in Switzerland.

The report by the CICAD, a Geneva-based organization that coordinates the fight against anti-Semitism and defamation, shows that the number of anti-Semitic acts increased by 28 percent in 2011, totaling 130 cases, as opposed to 104 the previous year.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)