Jewish Graves Vandalized in New Zealand

Swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti found on over 20 graves in Auckland, New Zealand.

Over 20 graves in a Jewish cemetery were vandalized overnight Thursday, with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans, in Auckland, New Zealand.

According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, some of the graffiti found on the graves read "f*** Israel" and "don't f*** with us."

In response to the acts of vandalism, the Israeli Embassy in Wellington released a statement that read, "Sixty seven years after the liberation of the Jewish people from the death camps and ghettoes of Europe, expressions of blind hatred for Jews and for the sole Jewish state resurface," according to the New Zealand Herald.

Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told the Herald that before the desecration of the 125-year-old graves on Thursday night, plans were in place to construct a $250,000 security fence around the cemetery complex.

"Normally these sort of attacks come after some international incident that provokes it, but I can think of nothing,” Stephen told the New Zealand Herald.

Samuel Altschul, a senior rabbi at the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, told the Herald that the incident was "very alarming,” and that "It's cowardly to attack the dead. It's a very un-Kiwi thing to do and it's most saddening. Unfortunately it happens quite frequently."

Rabbi Altschul said a new grave was last dug at the cemetery in 1886.