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December 6, 2021 2:22 pm

Fourth Public Hanukkah Menorah Toppled by Antisemitic Vandals in Ukraine

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A temporary menorah is seen on the last night of Hanukkah in the Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod, following an incident of suspected antisemitic vandalism. Photo: Facebook

Police in western Ukraine are investigating an act of antisemitic vandalism in the city of Uzhhorod, after a Hanukkah menorah was toppled and then dumped into a local river.

The incident brought the number of antisemitic incidents in Ukraine during the week-long festival of Hanukkah to four.

Members of the local Jewish community on Sunday alerted police when they arrived at the site of the menorah to celebrate the last night of candle lighting, only to find that it had been torn from its spot and dragged into an adjacent river.

A temporary menorah was then quickly erected. “We will light the last eighth candle on the temporary menorah, which will stand here until tomorrow,” Uzbek and Transcarpathian Chief Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wilhelm told local media outlets.

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The US Embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv condemned the vandalism in a post on Twitter.

“Saddened to hear vandals toppled a Hanukkah menorah in central Uzhhorod,” the embassy tweeted. “We look forward to a swift investigation. The United States stands with Ukraine in condemning antisemitism.”

Anna Dan, a local police spokesperson, said her colleagues were treating the vandalism as an act of hooliganism under the Ukrainian Criminal Code, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

At least three other incidents of menorah vandalism have been recorded in Ukraine during Hanukkah.

Last Sunday, as the holiday began, police officers in Kyiv apprehended a man as he attempted to knock down a menorah in the city’s Independence Square, while a menorah in the city of Dnipro, in central Ukraine, was toppled in the early hours of last Monday. Another menorah in the southern city of Nikolayev was targeted by vandals on Tuesday.

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