Small explosive thrown at synagogue in Kyrgyzstan

Shortly before the start of Rosh HaShanah, an unknown attacker threw a small explosive device over the fence of a Chabad House in the capitol city of Kyrgyzstan, according to several news reports (EJPRFE/RL).  The device was packed with nails but luckily the detonation was very small, and no one was hurt.  The same synagogue was also attacked in April 2010, during the civil unrest accompanying the overthrow of the old Kyrgyzstan government. See here for a JTA story describing the violence.

Probably between 1,000 and 1,500 Jews live in Kyrgyzstan.  Conventional wisdom has it that Kyrgyzstan is relatively free of anti-Semitism, a position confirmed by a 2009 report from the NCSJ (formerly the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, based in Washington DC), and by the 2008 report from Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Racism, which tracks anti-Semitism in countries around the world. Let’s hope the recent violence is just an aberration and that things will quiet down.

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