Concerning attacks against the Lithuanian Jewish community

The Jewish community of Lithuania issued a statement condemning the attacks perpetrated against its premises amid the rise of antisemitism in the country and throughout Europe.

“Last week, another attack was perpetrated against the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak)
Community—a masked individual, along with an accomplice, stole the Israeli flag from the
community’s facade. Subsequently, the same person, armed with a knife, slashed the flag in a
nearby park and assaulted a passerby. Fortunately, no victims were harmed. The next day, a
window of the “Bagel Shop” was smashed.

All information and video footage capturing the crimes, including the accomplice’s face, have
been handed over to the police. The Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community expects law
enforcement to take swift action and to strictly punish the criminals, as it is becoming
evidently unsafe for Jewish people in the capital of Lithuania.

“What disappointed us the most was not the theft itself, but the indifference of the
people—clearly seen in the recording, bystanders saw the masked man shouting and did not
think to call the police. Our community still includes witnesses who have personally
experienced the tragic consequences that can arise from apathy in the face of a crime,” says
Faina Kukliansky, head of the LJC.

However, not all Vilnius residents are indifferent—we thank Mr. Jonas, who found the flag
pole around the corner. Recognizing it by the pressed logo, he returned it to the community.
This is not the first attack against the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community—in February, a
vandal threw a stone at the community building, shattering a window. Only by a stroke of
luck was a disaster averted, as falling shards could have injured the parents and their young
children or seniors attending clubs at the community. In early March, a group of youths
hurled a stone at the Vilnius Choral Synagogue, after the sanctuary’s walls had been defaced
with antisemitic graffiti. Piecing together all these facts, it becomes clear that the acts of
vandalism were planned and executed out of hatred against Jews on a national basis.

In response to all these incidents, the LJC is actively cooperating with the police, striving to
provide as much information as possible. Unfortunately, the preliminary investigations have
so far yielded no results.”


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