The Sephardic cemetery in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, has been vandalized in an antisemitic attack, the local Jewish community said.
Antisemitic graffiti was painted on the cemetery entrance by a group of ultra-right supporters of a Belgrade football club. The vandalism in the cemetery was reported to the authorities.
The Sephardic and Ashkenazi cemeteries in Belgrade are the only two Jewish graveyards still in use in Serbia.
In November 2021, the same cemetery was attacked when unidentified people smashed the windows and left an ax on the floor.
Following the latest antisemitic attack, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), wrote a letter to both the President of Serbia and the Minister for Home Affairs, calling for a robust response and asking to bring a delegation of Jewish leaders to meet and tackle the rise in antisemitism in Serbia.
In his letter to President Aleksandar Vucic, Rabbi Margolin wrote, “Mr. President, the small Jewish Community in Serbia seldom makes the headlines. This is in no small part to the effort of the government, and to wider society in general, for creating a friendly and tolerant environment where Jews can live and grow.’’
“However, when I receive a message from a prominent community member that not only was the attack repeated but that “things are not good,” I believe this merits a more robust response,’’ he added.
“We would like to entreat you to condemn, in the strongest terms possible, this latest attack and to launch a full investigation with a view to full prosecution.,’’ Margolin wrote, adding that he would like to meet the Serbian president together with a delegation of Jewish leaders to discuss constructive and effective ways to combat antisemitism.
‘’In this, we have much experience and a template we have called the “10 Commandments” that would make a meaningful difference. We would be happy to share them with you,” he concluded.