The World Jewish Congress says that it is deeply concerned and disgusted by the vandalism of the Great Prayer Hall of the Sofia Central Synagogue, in which a man hurled stones through the windows of the building on January 19, just more than a week after a monument in the Bulgarian capital honouring the victims of the Holocaust was targeted.
“The World Jewish Congress stands with our community in Bulgaria in decrying this despicable act of vandalism against a centre of Jewish life in Sofia, and is further outraged by the utter lack of attention this desecration was given by passersby,” said WJC CEO and Executive VICE President Robert Singer.
“We urge the authorities to take every measure possible to ensure their safety and well-being in the face of a spate of antisemitic incidents of late, and recognize that this cannot be treated as a simple act of criminal vandalism,” he said.
“Jews in Bulgaria are proud members of society, and their security must be of utmost importance and concern, as with all citizens of Bulgaria. It is absolutely unacceptable that the community should have to live in fear or trepidation for their lives or their property, simply due to their identity as Jews. We trust that the police and government will treat this incident with the severity it deserves, and do everything in their power to prevent such acts of hatred from happening again, including around-the-clock protection of Jewish communal property,” Singer said.
The attack also was condemned by Deputy Foreign Minister Georg Georgiev, the National Co-ordinator for the Fight against Antisemitism and Hate Speech, who called for the culprit in the antisemitic incident to be identified and punished for the crime.
In its condemnation of the incident, the embassy of the State of Israel said: “For the past 110 years the synagogue exists beside the mosque, the Catholic and the Orthodox church, all within less than one square kilometre. Thus, creating a triangle of tolerance.
“Such a cowardly act one week before the International Memorial Day of the Holocaust and just a few months after Bulgaria was accepted as a full member of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA reminds us that tolerance cannot be taken for granted but should be cultivated every day,” the embassy said.