Third Jewish cemetery damaged in US anti-Semitic acts

2017-03-03 20:47
Damaged headstones at a Jewish cemetery are seen through a hole in a fence. (Jacqueline Larma, AP)

Damaged headstones at a Jewish cemetery are seen through a hole in a fence. (Jacqueline Larma, AP)

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Washington -Vandals tumbled and defaced headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York, local officials confirmed on Friday, the third such cemetery in the United States to suffer damage in a surge in apparent anti-Semitic acts.

Meredith Dragon, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, said local police were not yet ready to determine whether the toppling of a dozen or more headstones in the Stone Road or Waad Hakolel Cemetery had been an act of petty vandalism or a targeted hate crime.

But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an investigation into the rise in crimes and threats against Jewish organisations in the state.

Nationally, a total of three cemeteries - the others in St Louis, Missouri and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - have now seen large numbers of overturned and broken headstones and hundreds of bomb threats have been phoned in to Jewish community centres and day schools.

A national investigation has been opened by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which investigates hate crimes.

Dragon said a Jewish cemetery in the city had been similarly damaged in 2014, but that was blamed on petty vandals.

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