Jewish grave sites have been vandalised. Vandals allegedly knocked over and smashed the headstones of four Jewish grave sites in the Strand area during the weekend of June 22 – 23.
This was according to a news report in the Cape Argus on June 24.
This is the third incident of vandalism in a week. Following this latest incident, the Jewish community wishes to lay a complaint with SAPS to protect the burial grounds.
No anti-Semitism suspected
The vandalism incident is not believed to be not related to any anti-Semitic sentiment in the area.
This was the comment from the head of the Cape Jewish Board of Deputies, Stuart Diamond.
“We don’t believe that this is an anti-Semitic act at this point. Unlike incidents in Wellington last year, we can’t say that this is directly aimed at Jewish gravesites.”
Diamond said that he believes that vandalism incidents such as these have steadily risen.
“We are seeing a worrying number of vandalism incidents in cemeteries.”
He also stressed the importance of working with local government to curb these incidents.
“We shouldn’t let this get out of control. We are looking to work closely with the provincial government and community forums to make sure we can tackle this issue head-on. There is dignity for the dead to consider. We put a lot of effort into the maintenance and upkeep of Jewish cemeteries around the province.”
Israeli newspaper believes the incident to be related to neo-Nazi cell
The vandalism of Jewish grave sites has been reportedly linked to neo-Nazi groups by the Israeli newspaper named Israeli Hayom.
However, Diamond and the chairman of the Strand community, Hertzel Brodovsky, do not believe that these Jewish grave sites vandalised are the result of neo-Nazis.
“It’s more a case of being a social problem. I don’t think it’s anti-Semitism. Vagrants can get in there discreetly and spend the whole night there, so we’ve got a security guard now who can provide a presence in the facility.”