Jewish gravesThe vandalism of over 300 Jewish graves in Eastern France, is another shocking reminder that there are those out there who have no conscience, no care and no respect. The vandalism of Jewish and Muslim graves is sadly a reality in Europe, though we need to place this in context and the incidents which are sporadic, touch the core of what matters to us all of us.

The vandals have no compassion or empathy in sparing a thought for the Jewish mother, the father or the soldier who died and who once lived on this earth. They have no empathy as to whether the individuals taught, whether they stood up against fascism, whether they campaigned for equality or whether they brought up families. All they know is that their anger and hate has been dissipated by targeting the symbols of the dead.

Such antisemitism should be seen as an insult against our mothers, our fathers and our soldiers. It should be seen as a smear against our teachers and our family members since the history of Europe is one of communities who have lived, shared lives and grown up together. It is a history where a Jewish mother should bring out feelings within us that allow us to connect with her through references and actions that remind us of our mothers.

Today, they break the headstones of the dead. Tomorrow, let us hope that they ask for forgiveness for their actions.