‘Sickening and Cruel’ Anti-Semitic Attack on Manchester Cemetery
Gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Manchester were tagged with anti-Semitic graffiti and about 40 headstones were toppled over, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
Bernard Freeman, 88, was visiting his mother’s grave when he discovered the desecration.
“I come here to say a prayer to my mother and my father and tell them in my own way about the children, the grandchildren and great grandchildren – to come here and find this, it’s diabolical, it really is,” he said.
Inspector Mike Reid of the Greater Manchester Police described the attack at the cemetery on Rochdale Road, Blackley, as “a sickening and cruel act of racism.”
“The vandalism of a gravestone is, in itself, a sickening act but to violate the memory of those resting in the cemetery still further by daubing racial slurs on the graves is truly repulsive,” he added. “I cannot begin to get into the mind of someone who would commit such an atrocity.”
Greater Manchester Police are currently investigating the vandalism as a hate crime because of the “clear racial motivation,” which will allow the courts to impose harsher punishments, according to the United Kingdom’s Descrier.
In 2011, the UK’s highest number of anti-Semitic incidents took place in the Greater Manchester area but hate crimes have dropped in the past three years, according to Community Security Trust.
“A lot of good work has been done by Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service – we hope this is is an isolated incident,” said a trust spokesperson.