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Jewish graves reconsecrated after Belfast hate attack

By Staff Reporter

The Jewish plot in Belfast City Cemetery has been reconsecrated after 13 graves were vandalised.

A gang of youths smashed headstones in the west Belfast cemetery last August in what police described as a hate crime.

Some of the graves in the walled-off section date back to 1871.

Among those joining Rabbi David Singer at yesterday's ceremony was DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Rabbi Singer said: "It brings to memory those who used to live here, and those who are here now to celebrate two things.

"The rededication, and the second thing we're celebrating is the friendliness and the efforts that have been put in by Belfast City Council and by the Government to help us get to this particular stage after the vandalism."

Also present was Ulster Unionist Steve Aiken.

He said: "The Jewish community have a long and distinguished history in Northern Ireland and are part of the very fabric of our society.

"We should all be very proud of the role they have played and do all we can to ensure that they are able to live free from harassment from fascists and bigots."

Last week Northern Ireland's Jewish community issued a manifesto for the Assembly elections called the Ten Commitments.

It urged candidates to to fight all racism, including anti-Semitism.

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