Several hundred tombs were defaced at the Jewish cemetary of Sarre-Union in northeastern France

February 16, 2015 8:31 pm

’s interior minister say several hundred tombs had been defaced
at a Jewish cemetery in the northeast of the country, in what he called
“a despicable act”.
“The country will not tolerate this new
injury which goes against the values that all French people share,” said
Bernard Cazeneuve without giving further details of the incident in the
town of Sarre-Union in the Alsace region.

Several hundred tombs were defaced at the Jewish cemetary of Sarre-Union in northeastern France. Photo / AFP
“Every effort will be
made to identify, question and bring to justice the person or persons
responsible for this despicable act.”
French President Francois
Hollande added his voice to the condemnation, calling the desecration an
“odious and barbaric act” while Prime Minister Manuel Valls, writing on
Twitter, described it as “anti-Semitic and ignoble”.
It is not the first time that a Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union has been targeted.

In 1988, around 60 Jewish steles, stone or wooden slabs often
used for commemorative purposes, were knocked over, and 54 tombs were
wrecked in 2001.
of the latest incident comes just over a
month after an Islamist gunman shot dead four Jews in a kosher
supermarket siege in Paris and less than 24 hours after a fatal shooting
at a synagogue in Copenhagen.
“I am fed up of all these
anti-Semitic acts, in their different forms that we saw on January 9 in
France, yesterday in Copenhagen and today in Alsace,” said Roger
Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish
Institutions of France.
Such “cowardly acts” showed a “lack of
moral and ethical values” and was an illustration of a failure of
France’s national education system, he added.
In another incident
in March 2012, a 23-year-old man, Mohamed Merah, shot dead three
soldiers in Toulouse and Montauban, southern France, before killing
three students and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
Merah was later killed in a shootout following a siege at his apartment by French police.

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