Firebomb thrown at synagogue in Turkey

Man throws firebomb at Beth Israel Synagogue in Izmir. No damage caused to the synagogue.

Elad Benari,

Flag of Turkey
Flag of Turkey
iStock

A man threw a firebomb at the Beth Israel Synagogue in Izmir, Turkey, JTA reported on Thursday.

The incident, according to the report, took place on March 28. The firebomb fell to the sidewalk and did not damage the synagogue. The incident was first reported on Tuesday by the Turkish-language Salom Jewish news website.

The unidentified attacker reportedly told police that he attacked the synagogue in order to protest Israel.

Mustafa Yeneroğlu, the Istanbul lawmaker for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) condemned the attack on social media.

“There is no difference between attacks targeting synagogues, churches and mosques; they all target social peace with their hate,” he wrote.

In a statement, the Turkish-Jewish community praised the Izmir Security Directorate for its quick action in catching the attacker and condemned “this heinous attack threatening our lives, peace and unity.”

Turkey has seen a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes since the rise of the AKP party headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Although violent attacks are still relatively rare, anti-Jewish incitement has become commonplace.

Several years ago, the governor of the northwestern province of Edirne was accused of inciting hatred towards the country's Jewish community, after suggesting a synagogue be turned into a museum as a reprisal for Israel's policies over the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

In 2017, Turkish ultra-nationalists protested outside the Neve Salom synagogue in central Istanbul, one of the most significant synagogues in the city, to denounce Israel's security measures on the Temple Mount.

American officials several years ago expressed deep concern over the rising levels of anti-Semitism in Turkey, after a report revealed that young Turkish Jews were leaving the country in droves as a result of the anti-Semitism.




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