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Haaretz / Jewish Cemetery in Eritrea Vandalized for First Time, Dozens of Graves Destroyed

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Jewish Cemetery in Eritrea Vandalized for First Time, Dozens of Graves Destroyed


Photos received by Haaretz reveal damage to old cemetery in Eritrean capital of Asmara, once home to a small Jewish community

Ofer Aderet Jan 15, 2018    
Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys
Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys CreditCourtesy

A Jewish cemetery in the Eritrean capital of Asmara was vandalized in recent days. In photos received by Haaretz, headstones and graves can be seen toppled and broken.

Asmara was once home to a small Jewish community that moved to the Horn of Africa country at the beginning of the previous century. For years, the local Jewish community lived unmolested in the city.

Alongside the cemetery, the Asmara site is also home to a now defunct synagogue, as there is no longer an active Jewish community in the city.
  
"The cemetery suffered vandalism and a large number of graves were defaced," Danny Goldschmidt, from the Aden Jewish Heritage Museum, told Haaretz.

Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys
Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys CreditCourtesy


Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys
Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys Credit: Courtesy

Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys Courtesy
Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroys Credit: Courtesy

"The police have yet to make an arrest," he added, noting that to the best of his knowledge there is no history of anti-Semitism in the city and no previous incident of the community being targeted has been reported.
 
"Is this anti-Semitism or the act of a crazy individual? No one knows," he said.
Last week, a Jewish school on the Tunisian island of Djerba, home to an ancient Jewish community, was attacked late as violent anti-government protests raged elsewhere in the North African country. On Monday, it was reported that five people were arrested, though the motive for the attack remains unclear.



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