Vandals deface Petach Tikva synagogue with Nazi symbols

A large swastika and symbol of the SS were spray-painted on the outer wall of a synagogue in Petach Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

During the entire Hebrew month of Elul, which leads up to the Jewish New Year, sephardic Jews observe the custom of reciting special penitential prayers very early in the morning. On Tuesday, congregants of the Ohel Moshe synagogue in Petach Tikva arrived before dawn and discovered a disturbing sight: a large swastika and lightning symbol of the German SS units sprayed on the façade of the building in black paint.

“Of course, a complaint was immediately filed with the police, with the hope that it would be dealt with seriously and expeditiously,” said Rami Greenberg, a city council member who exposed the criminal act on his Facebook page.

It was a “shocking” sight, he wrote. “The worshipers were stunned, as were we all, that in the State of Israel…in 2018, there are such harsh expressions of anti-Semitism.”

He vowed that “we will not allow anti-Semitism to raise its head in our city.”

As recently as last June, however, the Nazi symbol was daubed on two other synagogues in the city. In April one had to be removed from an outer wall of a grade school and others from a bus stop and nearby map of the city. Police were called in to investigate at the time, and two Jewish teenagers were eventually arrested.

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Petah Tikva also suffered from a wave of anti-Semitic vandalism in 2006, 2011 and 2015.