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Anti-Semites try to burn a synagogue in Britain
Ha'aretz (www.haaretzdaily.com) reports that anti-Semites tried to burn a synagogue in Britain.
The Jewish community in Britain has expressed outrage over the desecration of a synagogue in the Welsh town of Swansea on Thursday night. Vandals broke into the synagogue, destroyed a Torah scroll, drew swastikas on the wall and tried to burn the building down. A South Wales police spokesman said the attack had caused substantial damage and was being treated as an anti-Semitic incident.
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Britain's Jews express outrage over Wales synagogue attack
LONDON - The Jewish community in Britain has expressed outrage over the desecration of a synagogue in the Welsh town of Swansea on Thursday night. Vandals broke into the synagogue, destroyed a Torah scroll, drew swastikas on the wall and tried to burn the building down. A South Wales police spokesman said the attack had caused substantial damage and was being treated as an anti-Semitic incident.
Mike Whine, of the Community Security Trust (CST), which oversees security in Jewish communities, said the Swansea assailants had forced open a window of the synagogue, drew a swastika on one wall and took the scroll into a garden outside to destroy it.
"There was a big sign saying 'T4,' which we believe is a reference to the Nazi euthanasia program in the concentration camps," Whine said. "Excrement was left and there was a failed attempt to set fire to the place."
Harry Sherman, chairman of the synagogue, said the area's 70-member Jewish community had been "shell-shocked" by the attack. He said the 300-year-old Torah scroll had been ripped and left outside the synagogue. "I doubt if it can be repaired. These scrolls are handwritten and there aren't many scribes in this country... It's priceless," Sherman said.
This is the second time this year that a synagogue in Britain has been attacked.
The Swansea Synagogue was originally built in 1760. It was destroyed by German air attacks on the city during World War II and was rebuilt after the war. This is the first time the synagogue has been attacked in an anti-Semitic incident. Community sources said there has been limited Neo-Nazi activity in the area, but until now they had only targeted Muslim-Asian communities in the area.
In April, in an attack on Finsbury Park synagogue in north London, a swastika was daubed in green paint on the rabbi's lectern, prayer shawls and skull caps were hurled to the floor, where excrement had been left behind, and windows were smashed. No suspects have been detained so far in either case.
Survey indicates anti-Semitic beliefs
However, a new survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League in a number of countries in Europe shows that a fifth of Britons believe Jews have too much power in the business world. Of those surveyed, 23 percent said they believe Jews talk too much about the Holocaust and a third said they believed ant-Jewish sentiment would increase in the next few years. Almost half of the participants said they have no or little contact with Jews.
The CST believes that the findings of the survey support the conclusion that the anti-Zionist propaganda campaign in Britain by pro-Palestinian activists has afforded widespread legitimization to anti-Semitism.
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