A "diabolical" anti-Semitic vandalism attack on a Jewish cemetery in England\’s northern city of Manchester left gravestones knocked over and defaced with racist graffiti.
In the vandalism attack roughly 40 gravestones were toppled over, and anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas were scrawled on the graves, reported BBC on Tuesday.
Bernard Freeman, an 88-year-old who came to visit his mother\’s grave, was shocked to discover it had been knocked over.
"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," said Freeman.
"This is a sickening and cruel act of racism," said Inspector Mike Reid of the Greater Manchester Police.
Reid added "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. I cannot begin to get into the mind of someone who would commit such an atrocity."
Manchester outpaced London in 2011 as the UK city with the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents. However, Manchester\’s Jewish Community Security Trust claimed the anti-Semitism has dropped, adding "we hope this is is an isolated incident."
Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe in general, with a full 1% of the French Jewish community expected to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) by the end of the year following numerous violent anti-Semitic attacks.