New Zealand steps up security at Jewish cemeteries
New Zealand authorities have beefed up security at three Jewish cemeteries in the Wellington area, after vandals desecrated Jewish graves over the weekend for the second time in three weeks.
Security has also been increased for Jewish cemeteries in Auckland. The Sunday Star Times reported that insurance evaluators have already visited the Makara cemetery outside Wellington, the site of the weekend vandalism, and that the municipality will soon begin restoration work on the approximately 92 gravestones that were destroyed and the Jewish chapel that was torched.
Three weeks ago, 16 graves were desecrated in the old Jewish cemetery in central Wellington and anti-Jewish graffiti was found there.
Meanwhile, The New Zealand Herald reported that members of Wellington's Jewish community are considering offering a reward for information on anyone who was behind Friday's attack.
All of New Zealand's political parties publicly condemned the incidents. Minister of Minority Affairs Chris Carter, who called them "racist," said he would be asking parliament to issue a declaration condemning anti-Semitism in New Zealand. President of the New Zealand Jewish Council, David Zwartz, told Haaretz the 1,500-member community is upset, but is not fearful.