Holy Jewish site of Esther and Mordechai set ablaze in Iran – reports – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on May 23, 2020

BERLIN - National Director of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Jonathan Greenblatt announced Friday on Twitter that the tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Iran was torched."Disturbing reports from Iran that the tomb of Esther & Mordechai, a holy Jewish site, was set afire overnight. We hope that the authorities bring the perpetrators of this antisemitic act to justice & commit to protecting the holy sites of all religious minorities in Iran, Greenblatt tweeted. The Jerusalem Post is seeking to obtain the reports cited by Greenblatt in his tweet. Greenblatt has termed Iran's regime the top state-sponsor of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.Prior to the arson of the tomb, one Twitter user named Mohammad Mahdi Akhyar threatened to destroy the holy site on May 14 in response to a tweet by the Israel's Foreign Affairs' Farsi Twitter page. It is unclear if the arson is connected to Israel's Independence Day.US Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr strongly condemned the attack on the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai and said "Iran's regime is the world's chief state sponsor of antisemitism." He called on the Islamic Republic to "stop incitement" and "protect its Jewish community" and its other minorities.

The Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York and Los Angeles, and the members of the Iranian Jewish community in the United States said in a statement that they "are shocked and truly saddened by the news of fire in the ancient and official Iranian Heritage Site, the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamedan."

The statement continued that "We hereby ask the responsible members of the government of Islamic Republic of Iran to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice for this barbaric act of insult to this holy site and take steps to protect other sites of religious and historic significance."

Karmel Melamed, an Iranian-American expert on the Jewish community in the Islamic Republic of Iran, tweeted: "My sources who have contacts with Iran's Jewish community have confirmed that there was an 'attempt' to burn the synagogue at the Tomb. Some smoke damage but the fire was minimal. No arrests of suspects have been made yet by Ayatollah regime."

The Iranian regime-controlled The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Saturday that a suspect sought to enter the tomb. Radio Farda, the US government-funded news outlet that reports on Iran, wrote that IRNA "confirmed that there had been an attempt to break into the tomb of Esther and Mordechai, a holy Jewish site in Hamedan, but removed the report from its website two hours after its publication."

IRNA said the perpetrator tried to enter the building through an adjacent bank but was not successful, wrote Radio Farda, adding that IRNA claimed that the shrine did not suffer damages and that the suspect's faced was captured on CCTV video. IRNA said the police are searching for the perpetrator.

The Voice of America reporter Michael Lipin tweeted: "BREAKING: An eyewitness in #Iran's Hamadan city told @VOAIran/@VOANews he saw several fire trucks going to the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai after an apparent arson attack on Jewish holy site Thursday night, but authorities didn't allow people to get close."

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Holy Jewish site of Esther and Mordechai set ablaze in Iran - reports - The Jerusalem Post

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