Daily Israel Report

Two Arrested in Desecration of Jewish Graves

Police have arrested two men following the desecration of dozens of Jewish graves at a cemetery in Auckland, New Zealand last week.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/21/2012, 9:42 AM

Swastikas (file)
Swastikas (file)
Flash 90

Police have arrested two men following the desecration of dozens of Jewish graves at a cemetery in Auckland, New Zealand last week.

A 19-year-old and 23-year-old will be charged with willful damage and are set to appear at Auckland District Court this week, police said. About 20 gravestones at the historic Symonds Street Cemetery were vandalized with anti-Semitic obscenities, including Nazi swastikas.

Earlier this year the Waitemata Local Board agreed to a $1.6 million funding boost to improve maintenance and security at the cemetery, among other things, Fairfaz New Zealand News reported.

Professor Jim Salinger, New Zealand vice president of B'nai B'rith International, said the vandalism was a "repeat of the ignorance to the living and the dead during the Holocaust period," ONE News reported.

"Such hate behavior is abhorrent, discriminatory and criminal whether it is targeted at Muslims, Christians, Jews, Maori's or other sects," he said. "There is no room in a civilized society to accept this blatant, disgraceful and thoughtless act of willful damage."

Police have not ruled out further arrests as investigations continue.