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May 15, 2020 7:38 pm

US Jewish Groups Denounce Reported Arson Attack at Tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Iran

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, in Hamadan, Iran. Photo: Philippe Chavin via Wikimedia Commons.

Several top US Jewish groups denounced on Friday a reported arson attack at the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan, Iran.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said in a statement that it was “outraged” by the incident.

“This abhorrent and unconscionable act represents not only a blatantly antisemitic assault on Jews and Judaism, but an assault on all people of faith,” the statement noted. “It must be unequivocally condemned by the international community. The government of Iran must act to prevent further attacks and bring to justice those responsible.”

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “We hope that the authorities bring the perpetrators of this antisemitic act to justice & commit to protecting the holy sites of all religious minorities in Iran.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said, “Historically, Muslims safeguarded Jewish holy sites from Persia to Morocco, including the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai. But all that has changed under the ayatollahs and the terrorist movements they have spawned.”

“The torching of this Jewish holy site is reminiscent of the Nazis, who not only killed the living, but desecrated the dead,” it added. “The attack took place against the backdrop of the mullahocracy’s drumbeat of genocidal hatred against the Jewish people, its state-sponsored policy of Holocaust denial and denigration. In such an environment a violent attack against Jews, Judaism and Jewish heritage should surprise no one.”

“We urge all world leaders to condemn this cowardly antisemitic attack and Iran’s serial antisemitic policies,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center concluded.

B’nai B’rith International said, “There is a direct path from Tehran’s sinister embrace of antisemitism to the desecration of this important religious site. We call for an investigation by the United Nations into the desecration of the tomb. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, authored a report on antisemitism in the fall and is familiar with Iran’s deeply entrenched antisemitism. We ask that he pursue this matter with great urgency. The international community must pressure Iran to protect Jewish holy sites.”

Elan Carr — the US special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism — said, “Iran’s regime is the world’s chief state sponsor of antisemitism. It must stop incitement and protect its Jewish community and other minorities.”

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