Anti-Semitism, vandalism and ordinary loutishness1
- 19.10.2007, 11:18
The news of October 12 on the vandalism on a Jewish cemetery in the town of Babruisk got an unexpected continuation. At a meeting with Russian regions media journalists, Aliaksandar Lukashenka nearly accused the Jews of untidiness.
“If you have ever been to Babruisk, you must have seen what the town looked like. It was terrible! A real pigpen! And that was mostly a Jewish town. You know how Jews treat the places where they live. Look at Israel; they’re not so particular about cutting lawns like in Russia or Belarus,” Lukashenka said.
But it’s not about lawns. It’s about cemetery. In Babruisk 15 graves were profaned, monuments were thrown down and broken. The Jewish cemetery of Babruisk didn’t know such a blatant vandalism although it is 86 years old, Polish Radio emphasizes.
The vandalism in Babruisk and the commentary of the country’s president were not ignored by Israeli Ambassador to Belarus Zeev Ben Arye.
“The echo of Anti-Semitism is clear, although I hoped it’s gone now. And it’s not about the fact that such things still happen. Of course, this is terrible, but this can happen anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, the criminals are normally not found and not punished. I believe such cases need more attention, a wider coverage in the media. Nevertheless, we have repeatedly emphasized that in the modern Belarus there is no Anti-Semitism as a mass phenomenon,” the Ambassador said.
The vandalism strengthened by the statements of the country’s head made a sensation, Israel’s Ambassador said.
The police are searching for Babruisk vandals, but representatives of the Jewish community don’t expect a positive result. At the same time, according to the latest population census, in Babruisk there live 4 thousand Jews out of 250 thousand people.