Argentine Jews fear ‘this is just the beginning’ after homes vandalized with Star of David

This hate crime marks a recurring theme in the world, as waves of antisemitic crimes rock communities across the globe.

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

The head of Argentina’s Jewish community has warned that “this is just the beginning” after a residential building in Buenos Aires was daubed with a Star of David — repeating a trend already seen in France, Germany, and other countries since the Hamas pogrom in southern Israel on Oct. 7 unleashed a wave of antisemitism around the world.

“This is not graffiti, it is a crime, and in Argentina being antisemitic is a crime,” Jorge Knoblovitz — president of the Jewish community’s umbrella organization DAIA — told local media outlets following the incident.

A large black Star of David painted on the glass door of the residential building in Guayaquil Street in the Caballito district of the Argentine capital was discovered on Tuesday and reported to the Buenos Aires Anti-Terrorism Division.

Knoblovitz emphasized that the adoption of a technique to identify Jews that became infamous in Nazi Germany had rung alarm bells among the country’s Jews. “If someone is capable of painting a building where a Jew lives, as happened during the Holocaust, I consider that to be very serious,” he said in an interview with the Telam news agency.

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Jonathan Karszenbaum — the director of the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires — told the Popular news outlet that while antisemitic graffiti involving the Nazi swastika symbol was more common, the use of the Star of David evoked painful memories of “the use of the yellow star during World War II.”

Home to a Jewish community of more than 180,000, Argentina has a long history of antisemitism. During the 1990s, the bombings of the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA Jewish center by Iranian and Hezbollah operatives claimed the lives of more than 100 people.

Several incidents have been reported since the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7. After a window was smashed at the Martin Buber Jewish School in Buenos Aires three weeks ago, Jewish educational institutions have introduced additional security measures, including suspending the requirement to wear school uniforms, which marks the students out as Jewish. Last week, police arrested a man who had issued threats on the social media platform 4Chan to attack Jewish schools.