Anti-Semitism in Moldova, 2009–2010
Because of the destabilization of the political and social situation in the country against the backdrop of a change in power and the strengthening of the National Democratic forces in 2009-2010, which had been accompanied by rioting, acts of anti-Semitism became more prevalent, in particular – acts of vandalism.
Unknown hooligans broke into the Bendery synagogue at night of March 1, 2009, and trashed the premises. The night before, someone drew the number 14 (i.e. “The 14 words of David Lane,” an encoded Neo Nazi slogan) in silvery paint on the gates of the Jewish cemetery. On August 8, 2009, in the “Dacia” microdistrict of Beltsy city, someone painted anti-Semitic slogans on houses and fences. On September 12, 2009, a memorial to Holocaust victims in Bendery was desecrated. On September 18, 2009, several buildings from the Chisinau Ciocana Sector were plastered with posters dedicated to the 110th birthday of the leader of the Iron Guard (a Romanian Fascist organization from the 1920-1930s), Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.
At the end of 2009, the leader of the Jewish community of the cultural and religious center “Agudat Israel der Moldova,” Yisrael Livshitz was beaten in the Panasheshty village of the Straseni district.
On December 13, 2009, in the very center of Chisinau, a group of Orthodox fundamentalists, who congregated around the Orthodox Society of the Blessed Matron of Moscow and were oriented at the most reactionary and marginal wing of Russian Orthodox Church “dissidents” (and, personally, at the excommunicated former Orthodox Church bishop Diomid) overturned and broke the Menorah erected for the holiday, and organized an anti-Semitic rally accompanied by insulting shouts and anti-Semitic slogans. The incident had wide public resonance.
On February 10, 2010, in the Chisinau center’s Pushkin Street, walls next to the memorial to Holocaust victims were covered in anti-Semitic slogans. On February 21st, there was an act of vandalism at the Jewish cemetery, and a number of gravestones was desecrated and destroyed, while the fence of the cemetery had a Fascist swastika drawn on it. .
In March 2010, the website of the Orthodox Society of the Blessed Moscow Matron published materials of an anti-Semitic nature. Later the website was radically reworked, and all relevant materials were removed. Also in March, a group of aggressive youths gathered before the Israeli consulate and shouted slogans against the Jewish charity fund “Dor Le Dor.”
On March 15, 2010, during the forcible takeover of the “Chisinau” hotel, which had been the property of the “First Hotel” company, a creation of several Jewish businessmen, a group had been shouting anti-Semitic insults, calling for an eviction of Jews from Moldova, as well as slogans like “Kikes, leave Gaza!”
In the summer of 2010, as a continuation of the decree of acting President Mihai Ghimpu, which made the 28th of June the day of the Soviet Occupation of Moldova, the mayor of Chisinau Dorin Chirtoaka proposed to create a Holocaust Museum and a Museum of the Soviet Occupation.. The Jewish Congress of Moldova made an official statement that it does not feel that it is possible to make parallels between a Fascist, misanthropist regime and the social system that is now being charged with an equal responsibility for repressions against its own people.
At the same time as these events took place, M. Ghimpu, the Acting President, said in the parliament of Moldova to deputy Oleg Reidman that he is “a disgrace to the Jewish people,” because he (Ghimpu) “has known smarter Jews.”
The local council of the Codru, a town in the municipality of Chisinau, made a decision on September 29, 2010, to name one of its streets in honor of the Fascist dictator ams Hitler's comrade-in-arms Ion Antonesku. It is of note that a similar act is impossible in its neighboring Romania, which has officially recognized the responsibility of the Romanian dictator for the Holocaust.
On September 12, 2010, the facade of the Chisinau synagogue was marred by Fascist symbols and slogans such as “Bessarabia is Romanian land!”
Now, before Chanukah-2010, the Jewish community and the authorities are taking unprecedented joint measures to avoid incidents similar to that of the previous year. Orthodox radicals have already made a statement that they will attempt to interfere with the placing of a chanukiah in the center of Chisinau.