The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Arson Attack on Synagogue

UPDATE: The same synagogue was targeted again on Saturday, destroying much more than the previous attack.

Via CBC News

A synagogue on the Greek island of Crete was hit by arsonists for the second time in three weeks, police said Saturday.

The attack happened in the city of Chania when an unknown number of people entered the building, broke through a first-floor door and started a fire, police said.

Fire officials said the blaze partly destroyed the synagogue’s wooden ceiling, as well as many of its archives, computers and CDs.

Police say about 2,500 books, many of them rare editions, were destroyed in this attack and a previous arson attack three weeks ago.

For a personal account of what happened and photographs of the destruction, please visit the blog of the Etz-Hayyim synagogue.

Via the European Jewish Press

The Jewish community of Greece protested Friday after an arson attack against the only synagogue on the Island of Crete, urging the authorities to take measures in order to get rid of “similar phenomenons of anti-Semitism.”

According to local police, unknown individuals broke into the Etz-Hayyim synagogue’s yard an hour after midnight and set fire to an outdoor wooden ladder which leads to the library.

The synagogue is located in the city of Hania’s historic old quarter.

Thanks to the swift intervention of the fire brigade, the fire was extinguished immediately before it threatened the temple and the adjoining library, which features roughly 1,600 rare books and manuscripts.

Hania Fire Brigade chief said that at the scene, firefighters found a bottle with a flammable liquid still burning.

Authorities in the port city said the synagogue’s main doors were locked and that the alarm system sounded when firefighters broke down the main gate to enter the building.

The medieval Etz-Hayyim synagogue serves as a place for prayer, a museum and memorial and a library recording the long and troubled history of Crete’s Jews.

Until 1999 it was a desecrated house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on the Island of Crete after the destruction of the Jewish community in 1944.

From 1996 until the year of its re-dedication in 1999 the structure has been painstakingly restored. It is mentioned on the it was still mentioned on the World Monument Fund’s list of most endangered sites.

The nearly 300 members of the Hania Jewish community were shipped out by the Nazi invaders in 1944, and died when their ship was sunk in transit by an Allied torpedo.

The synagogue’s director, Nikos Hanaan Stavroulakis, warned in a daily newspaper of Crete against racist act aiming in particular the immigrants in Hania.

Acts of vandalism sporadically aim Jewish cemeteries and buildings in Greece, whose community counts only a few thousands of people, after its extermination to more than 80% by the Nazis during WWII.

Last June, unknown people desecrated the Jewish cemetery in Ioannina, in the North-West of the country.

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  1. AntiMultiCulturalism
    January 16, 2010    

    should have all their fingers broken

    Of course, the only way to deter acts of mindless violence is more mindless violence. Yes, it makes total sense.

  2. Samir S. Halabi
    January 16, 2010    

    Those vermin perpetrators when eventually caught and tried should have all their fingers broken, they will then think again before committing further anti-jewish acts of violence & hatred.

  3. Handel on the News
    January 16, 2010    

    Always people trying to put down the Jews, but really it amounts to jealousy. What can you say about Jews, Oh, they are rich, they are highly educated, they are well connected, they have the biggest lobby in the USA, they control Hollywood with the most producers/directors etc. So, what it comes down to is just plain jealousy! When people are jealous, they say nasty things.

  4. Samir S. Halaby
    January 16, 2010    

    To the Anti-culturism person.
    I can understand if by being anti-culturism in a country where so many different cultures fight to be top dog, I would also be anti-culturism, however in this context it would seem only too obvious that you are anti-Jewish, in this scenario the jews that have lived in greece are not a new phenomenon they have lived in greece for hundreds of years, some for even a few thousand years,
    before world war two the Jewish community of Greece numbered around 75,000, today only around 5,000. 90% of the greek jewish community was wiped out by the germansin world war two, and you still persist in your vile hatred against the jewish community of greece.

  5. AntiMultiCulturalism
    January 16, 2010    

    First of all, my screenname has been used before in other posts and I don’t intend to change it. It has nothing to do in particular with the Jewish community in Greece.In fact this is the first time I comment in a post about anti-Semitic violence in this blog.

    Second, I called the attempted arsony of the Synagogue an act of mindless violence. I clearly condemn violence in all its forms.

    Third, just because I disagree with torture and corporal punishment, I’m anti-Jewish? What kind of reasoning is that?