Netanyahu: Desecration of Rabbi Nachman's grave is 'terrible'

Prime Minister Netanyahu calls on the Ukrainian government to take action following the desecration of the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman.

Chaim Lev,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Emil Salman/POOL/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening called on the Ukrainian government to take action following the desecration of the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman.

Netanyahu’s comment came during an online chat with Facebook users. During the chat, the Prime Minister was seen taking a phone call from a person named Yuval, believed to be Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Foreign Ministry.

"This must be taken care of,” Netanyahu told Yuval. "The ambassador there should go to the government and tell them that it is simply unacceptable, simply awful, I want them to deal with it.”

He added, "I would like an explanation and a correction. I asked to speak with the president, they are arranging the phone call, but you should act as well.”

Witnesses say a gang of Ukrainian vandals desecrated the tomb compound at approximately 2:00 a.m. local time, throwing a pig’s head and red paint into the building.

Photographed close-ups of the pig’s head show a swastika was carved into the animal’s forehead. The attackers sprayed tear gas and shouted anti-Semitic epithets during the assault which left Jewish visitors to the tomb shaken.

The office of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said he had personally taken control of the case and instructed local prosecutors to make it a priority, reported The Associated Press.

As well, Ukraine's acting police chief Vadym Troyan said the criminals would face eight years of prison if caught and convicted.

After reports of the incident reached Israel, Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid contacted the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel and urged Ukrainian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice and ratchet up security for Israeli visitors to Uman.

Lapid said the attack was “reminiscent of the darkest days in the history of the Jewish people in Europe. I expect your government to condemn this incident and to do everything possible to capture those responsible and bring them to justice quickly.”

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) also responded to the attack on Wednesday, calling it “act of barbarism”.

“I was utterly horrified to hear about the terrible desecration and the act barbarism committed last night at the holy tomb of Rebbe Nachman in Uman. I will contact the Ukrainian president today [to ensure] that action is taken quickly against the attackers and to increase security at the site.”


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