Jewish Graves Vandalized in Romanina

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BUCHAREST, Romania - Romanian officials reported Thursday that 200 graves and 100 monuments were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in southern Bucharest.

Paul Schwartz, spokesman for Romania's small Jewish community of 6,000 mostly elderly Jews, called the desecration "the worst act of vandalism in the nation in recent times."

In a press statement, Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu said Romania condemns the vandalism of the cemetery and all other anti-Semitic, xenophobic and racist acts.

Anti-Semitic Literature at German Book Fair

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote a letter to Germany's Frankfurt Book Fair director, pointing out that for the sixth consecutive year, the event has served as a venue for dispensing anti-Semitic literature.

Though organizers of the book fair vowed to scrutinize the content of books more closely, the phenomenon continues.

In past years, the Iranian and Syrian booths carried books with anti-Semitic content. At this year's fair, several Turkish booths offered conspiracy books alleging that Jews are the real leaders of Turkey, the U.S. and Iraqi Kurdistan.

In an official booth of the Turkish government, several publications claimed that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Abdullah Gul and Bulent Arinc, co-founder of the country's Justice and Development party, all had Jewish roots.

Book covers featured photos of the three Turkish leaders surrounded by Stars of David.

"Hit a Jew Day"

In a separate incident in the States, students at a St. Louis middle school face punishment for hitting Jewish classmates in what was dubbed, "Hit a Jew Day."

The incident, which took place in Parkway West Middle School in Chesterfield, Missouri, was an outgrowth of "Spirit Week."

It began with "Hug a Friend Day," then "High Five Day," followed by "Hit a Tall Person Day," and wound up with "Hit a Jew Day."

According to school district officials, only a small group of children were directly involved, but others taunted from the sidelines, egging on their classmates.

"There is a mix of sadness and outrage," district spokesman Paul Tandy said. "The concern is that a lot of kids knew about it and they didn't take action or say anything," he said.

Source: The Associated Press

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