Update: (January 31, 2008) After a thorough investigation, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office concluded that the desecration at Poile Zedek cemetery was not motivated by anti-Semitism. ADL agreed with the findings, but believes that the absence of bias crime charges does not mean that the perpetrators should avoid paying for their devastating crime. The League continues to monitor the proceedings and supports the prosecutor's pledge to vigorously pursue charges under other criminal statutes.
West Orange, NJ, January 10, 2008… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the arrest of four suspects in connection with the toppling of more than 500 headstones at the Poile Zedek Cemetery in New Brunswick, New Jersey, an attack that was "heinous and shocking" in its magnitude and level of destruction within a religious community burial ground.
"We welcome the arrests in this heinous and utterly shocking attack against a Jewish burial ground in New Brunswick," said Etzion Neuer, ADL New Jersey Regional Director. "The arrests send an important message to the community that these kinds of attacks are unacceptable. We hope that the alleged perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that hate crime enhancement penalties will be applied if the crimes were motivated by anti-Semitism."
The suspects, all juveniles, are accused of vandalizing the cemetery on two occasions: On January 1, 2008, when approximately 17 headstones were damaged; and on January 4, 2008, when another 500 headstones were toppled and overturned.
ADL applauded the swift work of the New Brunswick Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office and New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice - Bias Crimes Unit for their efforts in apprehending the suspects.