'Death to Jews’ Sprayed on Crimea Synagogue

As Ukraine crisis deepens, Jews in the Crimean peninsula fear more anti-Semitic attacks.

JTA
JTA
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Anti-Semitic graffiti was found Friday morning on the entrance to a synagogue in the Crimea region of southern Ukraine, local media reported.

According to the Russian-Israeli news site izrus.co.il, swastikas and the phrase “Death to the Jews” were sprayed on the door and facade of the Reform Ner Tamid synagogue in Simferopol, located in the Crimean peninsula.

Anatoly Gendin, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Crimea, told the news site that the perpetrators needed to climb a two-meter wall to reach the building.

“Clearly, it was important for the anti-Semites to commit this crime. Since the crisis began prices went up by 30 percent, pensions aren’t being paid," he wrote in a statement sent to media by the World Union for Progressive Judaism. "As usual, Jews are blamed [for] these disasters and Jews are held responsible. I am afraid to think how this will progress."

The attack took place as Ukrainian troops reported takeovers of two airports in the Crimea region by Russian forces.

Crimea is heavily populated by ethnic Russians.

Protests against Ukraine’s elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, forced him to flee from the capital city of Kiev to Moscow after scores died in bloody street clashes last week. The protest movement was spurred by his policy of privileging Ukraine’s ties to Russia integration with the European Union.

Earlier this week, firebombs hit the Chabad-run Orthodox Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev. That attack caused only minor damage.

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