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Indonesia's last synagogue destroyed?

Indonesia's last remaining synagogue has been destroyed, JTA reported Oct. 5, citing Dutch news site Unidentified persons razed the Beith Shalom synagogue in Surabaya on the island of Java to its foundations sometime earlier this year, according to the report. The synagogue has apparently been  the target of "a number of anti-Israel protests," and was "sealed by Islamic hardliners in 2009," according to the Jakarta Globe. "It is not clear by whom and when exactly the building was demolished," Freddy Instanto of the Surabaya Heritage Society told He said the Surabaya city council was in the process of registering the building as a heritage site when it was razed, and therefore it "should have been protected."

The small synagogue was built in the 19th century by Dutch Jews when Indonesia was still under colonial rule. It had white-painted bricks and a Star of David painted on the front door. The first Jews arrived in Indonesia in the 17th century with the Dutch East India Company. During the 1930s and '40s, the community grew due to new arrivals fleeing persecution in Europe. Currently, about 20 Jews are estimated to be living in Indonesia.

We have heard no updates to confirm this story or indicate who could have been behind the reported razing. We note a recent wave of attacks on Christians and "heretical" Ahmadi Muslims in Indonesia by Islamist militants. 

It should be needless to mention (but, alas, it isn't) that protesting Israel at a synagogue makes precisely as much sense as protesting Islamist reaction at a mosque. Which is to say, none. Unless the synagogue in question was aggressively political in defense of Israel (or the mosque in defense of the forced hijab, or such). Which this one clearly wasn't, as it seems not to have even been in use.

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