More Attacks on Lithuanian Jewish Community

More Attacks on Lithuanian Jewish Community

Last week two more attacks were made against the Lithuanian Jewish Community. A man in a mask with the help of an accomplice brazenly stole the Israeli flag flying above the entrance of the building in Vilnius, then took the flag to a nearby park and cut it up with a knife. He also apparently threatened a person there with the same knife, but didn’t wound that person. The next day someone broke a window at the Bagel Shop Café operated by the LJC in the same building as LJC headquarters.

Both incidents were recorded on security video which has been turned over to police.

The LJC expects law enforcement will take swift action to punish the criminals in light of the rising danger posed to Jews in the Lithuanian capital.

“What’s most discouraging isn’t the crimes themselves, but people’s apathy. In the video recording you can clearly see pedestrians passing by who stopped to look back at the crazed masked man but didn’t bother to call the police. There is more than one living eye-witness in our community who has personally experienced what tragic consequences can ensue from remaining passive while crimes are committed,” LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky commented.

Not all citizens of Vilnius were so apathetic, and a man named Jonas the discovered the mast of the flag nearby, identified it by its logo and returned it to the Community.

These are only two in a whole series of on-going attacks against the LJC. This spring someone threw a rock at the building and broke a window. It was only luck that the rock didn’t hit anyone inside, where parents and their children attend the youth clubs and the elderly come for their clubs and medical consultation on a continual basis. In early March a group of youths threw a rock at the Choral Synagogue in Vilnius and anti-Semitic graffiti was left on the wall. Taking all the incidents into account it’s clear these acts of vandalism were planned and carried out based on hatred towards Jews.

The LJC is working actively with police concerning all these incidents and is seeking to provide more detailed information and material. Unfortunately the pre-trial investigations launched by law enforcement haven’t yielded any results yet.