Published: 00:00, 05 December 2003
RACIST thugs are being blamed for an attack on a Jewish burial ground in which 21 headstones were smashed.
The gravestones were knocked down, and their fixings broken off at Chatham Cemetery while non-Jewish graves were left untouched.
Members of the religion have condemned the attack as "mindless" but also say they are shocked because of Medway's record for good race relations.
Police are investigating and security patrols at the cemetery, including at night, have now been stepped up.
Gabriel Lancaster, Medway representative for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "Other areas of the cemetery, such as Moslem, Sikh and Christian, were not attacked so this was clearly anti-Semitic.
"We are horrified by what has happened. It is mindless and whoever did this has given no thought to the distress it has caused to the relatives."
The gravestones, near the Palmerston Road and Kitchener Road junction, are an overspill from the Chatham Memorial Synagogue and only date back 25 years.
They were attacked between November 16 and 21 and arrangements are now being made for repairs.