(Washington, D.C., Jan. 17, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We are deeply disturbed by the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in the town of Shoumen, Bulgaria. The perpetrators toppled and broke gravestones and damaged the cemetery’s fences.
This attack is part of a disturbing trend of desecration of Jewish cemeteries across Europe. In February, vandals painted swastikas on headstones in the French village of Quatzenheim. Vandals damaged 59 gravestones in Námestovo, Slovakia, in December. German attackers knocked over 40 Jewish gravestones, spray-painting some of them, in December.
A survey released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) found that 85 percent of Europe’s Jews believe anti-Semitism is the biggest social or political problem in their society and 30 percent had been subjected to anti-Semitic harassment. More must be done to fight anti-Semitism in Europe. It is vital that European states ensure that European Jews feel safe.
We trust and expect that the perpetrators of this appalling act will promptly be arrested and tried for their crimes. In addition, we call on all European Union member states to implement the action plan to combat anti-Semitism developed by B’nai B’rith International, the European Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org