Jewish center, cemetery attacked in central Argentina town

Marcy Oster

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Anti-graffiti was drawn on a Jewish center and a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in the same Argentina city.

The Argentine Zionist Union of Rosario, or USAR, a Jewish community and sports center in a city some 200 miles north of Buenos Aires, was attacked this week with graffiti reading “F*** Jew.” The damages at the Rosario cemetery were discovered earlier this week.

Some 15,000 Jews live in Rosario among a population of about 900,000.

On Wednesday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed its solidarity with the city’s Jewish community and said it contacted USAR leaders. The group called for reinforcing preventive measures and installing surveillance cameras around the cemetery’s perimeter.

“Prompt investigation and prosecution by the regional government is crucial,” Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for international relations, said in a statement.

Sergio Widder, the center’s director for Latin America, added, “It is particularly disturbing that these attacks take place in the Province which hosted the first Jewish settlement in Argentina, Moises Ville. Indeed, Rosario later became the home for many of the descendants of those Baron Hirsch settlement pioneers.”

In January, 10 Israeli tourists were wounded in an anti-Semitic attack on a hostel in a small Argentine village. A Jewish cemetery was vandalized in the Santiago del Estero province.