Viewing cable 09VILNIUS74
Title: GOVERNMENT REPEATEDLY FAILS TO CONDEMN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS742009-02-04 11:59:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO2670
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0074 0351159
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 041159Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3258
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0232
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000074 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/OHI 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2019 
TAGS: PHUM OSCE KDEM LH
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT REPEATEDLY FAILS TO CONDEMN 
ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALISM 
 
REF: A. 08VILNIUS472 
     ¶B. 08VILNIUS655 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (U) Summary: Anti-Semitic vandalism still occurs 
frequently in Lithuania without drawing public condemnation 
from the GOL despite its responsibility to do so as an OSCE 
member state.  Lithuania is scheduled to take the OSCE chair 
in 2011.  End summary. 
 
¶2. (U) In January 2009 alone, at least four incidents of 
anti-Semitic vandalism were reported in towns across 
Lithuania, with no reaction from the government. 
Anti-Semitic (as well as anarchist and anti-Christian) 
graffiti were painted on a Catholic church in Vilnius on 
January 16.  Swastikas and "Kill Jews" were scrawled on the 
Jewish community building in Klaipeda on January 19.  In 
Panevezys, the sign denoting the location of the Jewish 
community's office inside a school building has repeatedly 
been vandalized and stolen, most recently on January 9.  And 
in Joniskis, "Juden Raus" -- German for "Jews Out" -- was 
spraypainted on the plywood wall surrounding the town's 
disused synagogue on January 21. 
 
¶3. (C) As explicitly noted in the OSCE's Berlin Declaration, 
GOL officials must speak out strongly and immediately when 
acts of anti-Semitism or intolerance occur.  Lithuania is 
slated to serve as OSCE chair in 2011.  Counselor Saulius 
Jaskelevicius, the MFA official who monitors Jewish issues, 
told us the GOL was aware of the January incidents but had 
thus far chosen to remain silent.  It did so, he said, in 
order not to allow the vandals, whom he speculated were 
"maybe even an organized group that travels around Lithuania 
trying to incite people against Jews," to achieve their goal 
of "trying to attract political attention." 
 
¶4. (U)  Comment: The silence is in keeping with the GOL's 
history of failure to clearly and quickly speak out against 
anti-Semitism and in favor of the tolerance and human rights 
that Lithuania committed itself to as a member of the OSCE 
and other Western institutions.  It also shows that the GOL 
does not understand how every instance of silence erodes its 
international standing.  Last year, after the GOL's slow 
response to a skinhead march in Vilnius (ref A), Post 
reminded GOL officials at several levels on several occasions 
that they must condemn such events.  In August 2008, top GOL 
officials were quick to condemn anti-Semitic vandalism in 
Vilnius and Panevezys (ref B).  That progress appears to have 
been short-lived.  End comment. 
CLOUD