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Syrian jailed for anti-Semitic attacks in Austria

Syrian jailed for anti-Semitic attacks in Austria

VIENNA An Austrian court on Thursday handed a Syrian aged 32 a three-year jail term for vandalizing a synagogue and other anti-Semitic attacks.

The court in the southeastern city of Graz was placed in a care institution after finding the man, who committed the offenses in August 2020, to be psychologically disturbed, a spokesperson told AFP.

He was arrested after he threw stones and scrawled pro-Palestinian slogans on the town synagogue before threatening the head of the local Jewish community and also damaged a local facility used by an LGBT group.

In court the man said he regretted actions that the prosecutor said were motivated by “hatred of Jews, homosexuals, and prostitutes,” the APA news agency reported.

At the time of the arrest, President Alexander Van der Bellen stressed anti-Semitism had no place in a country whose 192,000-strong pre-war Jewish population was decimated during the Holocaust under Nazi rule.

The country registered 585 anti-Semitic acts last year alone, according to Vienna’s Jewish IKG community association.

Graz’s synagogue was notably destroyed in the 1938 anti-Jewish Kristallnacht — or the Night of Broken Glass — pogrom. A new one was built in 2000.

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