'Sight of desecrated graves an affront to every decent person'

European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative President Rabbi Isaac Schapira condemns the desecration of a British military cemetery in Haifa.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Unmarked grave
Unmarked grave

The European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative Foundation (ESJF) strongly condemned the desecration of dozens of tombstones in a Haifa cemetery for British casualties of World War I.

“The sight of vandalized and desecrated graves is an affront to every decent person, and we condemn the daubing, especially of swastikas, on the final resting places of these soldiers in the strongest terms,” said Rabbi Isaac Schapira, Founder and President of ESJF. “As we seek to preserve and protect the Jewish cemeteries of Europe, we are particularly sensitive to this attack against the sanctity of the final resting place of these soldiers of different religions and background, who fought and died in the Holy Land.”

“We call on all the relevant authorities to ensure that such acts are not repeated and to take strong security measures to protect all cemeteries in Israel. The ESJF has already secured and protect over 150 cemeteries in Eastern and Central Europe and we stand ready to assist and share our knowledge and experience.”

The European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative was founded in 2015 with the core aim of protecting and preserving Jewish cemeteries across Eastern and Central Europe through construction of walls and locking gates. Since its foundation, the ESJF has been mostly active in the towns and villages where Jewish communities were wiped out in the Shoah, where thousands of cemeteries still lie abandon and neglected, thus exposed to vandalism, desecration and often destruction. The ESJF is a non-profit foundation which receives annual funding from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. It also receives funding from the EU to carry out a mapping of Jewish cemeteries in Eastern and Central Europe, as well funding from private donors.