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Men arrested over Jewish grave vandalism

Published: 5:56PM Sunday October 21, 2012 Source: ONE News

Police have arrested two men following the vandalism of 20 Jewish graves at a central Auckland cemetery.

A 23-year-old will appear in the Auckland District Court tomorrow charged with wilful damage, while a 19-year-old, also charged with wilful damage, will appear in court on Tuesday.

The arrests come three days after 20 graves were graffitied with anti-Semitic obscenities, including Nazi swastikas, at the historic cemetery on Karangahape Road.

Families of those buried and leaders in New Zealand's Jewish community have been appalled by the attack.

The New Zealand vice president of the oldest Jewish service organisation in the world, B'nai B'rith International, said the vandalism was a "repeat of the ignorance to the living and the dead during the Holocaust period".

"Such hate behaviour is abhorrent, discriminatory and criminal whether it is targeted at Muslims, Christians, Jews, Maori's or other sects," said Professor Jim Salinger.

"There is no room in a civilized society to accept this blatant, disgraceful and thoughtless act of wilful damage."

Police have not ruled out further arrests as investigations continue.

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