Belfast plaque marking Herzog’s birthplace removed following attacks


A marker commemorating the Belfast birthplace of the late Israeli president Chaim Herzog was removed following several anti-Semitic attacks.

The blue plaque honoring Herzog, Israel’s president from 1983 to 1993, was taken down in the Irish capital out of concern for the safety of those living nearby, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

“Attacks have included the scrawling of anti-Israeli graffiti on the building and items being thrown at the plaque and the house,” Brian Kingston, a local official, told the Telegraph. “Recently some youths were stopped in the process of trying to remove the plaque with a crowbar.”

The removal of the plaque, which was mounted in 1998, came a month after a north Belfast synagogue was vandalized.

Born in 1918, Herzog immigrated to British Mandate Palestine in 1935 and served in the Haganah, later fighting in Israel’s War of Independence. He also fought in the British army during Word War II.

Before being elected president, he served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and as a Knesset member. He died in 1997.

Belfast synagogue vandalized on back-to-back days


A window was smashed on successive days at a synagogue in Belfast, Ireland.

The vandalism at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation took place on Friday night and the following day, the BBC reported. In the latter incident, the replacement window was shattered.

Police are treating the vandalism as a religious hate crime.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said it was “totally unacceptable” for places of worship to be targeted, the BBC reported.

Gerry Kelly, a member of the legislative assembly, condemned the attack.

“There can be no place for attacks on any place of worship, regardless of the religion or denomination,” Kelly said, according to Belfast’s News Letter. “The local Jewish community makes a valuable contribution to our society and there is no justification for hate crimes.”

It was not clear whether the attack was related to Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli lecturer attacked in Ireland


Security officials rescued an Israeli lecturing to law school students at a university in Belfast after pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupted the program.

Members of the Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University and the youth wing of Sinn Fein began heckling Solon Solomon, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee, shortly after he began speaking last week on the legality of Israel’s West Bank security fence, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Solomon was forced to leave the auditorium under security services protection some 10 minutes after he began speaking. Outside the building, protesters attacked the car Solomon was riding in and attempted to break its windows.

An investigation into the incident has been launched, the university told the Jewish Chronicle.

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