The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed “disgust and outrage” over the front-page of a Lithuanian tabloid newspaper that it termed a “blatantly anti-Semitic attack on the Lithuanian Jewish community.”
The front page of the Dec. 21 edition of the Lithuanian tabloid “Vakaro Zionios” bore a large picture of the Vilnius Chabad Rabbi, Sholom-Ber Krinsky, in his Chasidic garb and gesturing with a finger. Above the photo ran a huge headline reading “Zydai” (the Jews) and, in much smaller print “see no need to pay their Social Security taxes.”
The caption and an article on inside pages singled out the Chabad school as one of several offenders. The article also listed the “top ten” offenders delinquent in their payments, and no Jewish organization figured in the list.
The front page headline, caption and photograph “clearly create the mistaken impression that it is the Jews who are robbing the Lithuanian people,” Wiesenthal Center Israel director Efraim Zuroff said in a statement Wednesday. “This type of blatant anti-Semitic lie is particularly reprehensible and dangerous in financially-beleaguered Lithuania and what is even more shocking is that this anti-Semitic incitement, which threatens the entire Lithuanian Jewish community, has not elicited a single negative reaction from any government official, religious leader or foreign ambassador.”