Bishop Dunn sends message of support after Jewish graves desecrated

Bishop Pat Dunn, the Catholic Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand, has expressed his disgust at the desecration of Jewish graves with anti-semitic obscenities, including Nazi swastikas, at a cemetery in Auckland.

“The vandalism of Jewish graves is a despicable act and I am disgusted that any person or persons would stoop to this level of cowardice to desecrate the graves of our forbears,” Bishop Dunn said.

“I extend my solidarity and sympathy to my sisters and brothers of the Jewish community.”

Police are investigating after around 20 headstones and graves were vandalised in a Jewish part of a Karangahape Road cemetery.

The Israeli Embassy in Wellington has condemned the act, saying it was a “vile desecration” of the graves.

“Sixty seven years after the liberation of the Jewish people from the death camps and ghettos of Europe, expressions of blind hatred for Jews and for the sole Jewish state resurface,” it said in a statement.

The embassy said it was clearly the action of a handful of vandals “motivated by hatred and ignorance, who certainly do not represent the opinion of New Zealanders”.

The embassy said it trusts New Zealand law enforcement agencies will find the vandals and bring them to justice.

Police have arrested two young men in relation to the desecration of Jewish graves with anti-semitic messages at a central Auckland cemetery.

A 19-year-old and 23-year-old will be charged with wilful damage and appear at Auckland District Court this week, police said.

Police have not ruled out further arrests.



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