News Briefs: Antoine Guyton Re-Arrested, Boston Cemetery to House Immigrant Center, and More


Antoine Guyton Re-Arrested for Flag Defacement

Antoine Guyton was re-arrested on June 16 for defacing the Israeli flag on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said.

Antoine Guyton mugshot

Police originally arrested the 26-year-old soon after the flag was sprayed with a red substance on May 15. When police arrived at the flag’s location, employees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia who had witnessed the incident pointed Guyton out when he returned to the scene.

Guyton was charged with institutional vandalism, criminal mischief and related offenses.

But two days later, on May 17, the charges against Guyton were dismissed when a video surfaced of someone else spraying the flag.

“We initially dismissed charges against the first defendant when the video surfaced,” said Benjamin Waxman, director of communications for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. “However, further investigation found that he had some role in what occurred, and that’s why the charges were re-issued.”

Israeli Arrested for Selling Fireworks to Arab

A Jewish Israeli man was arrested for selling more than 20,000 fireworks to a Jerusalem Arab who planned to use them as explosive projectiles against Israelis, reported.

Authorities said the 70-year-old Israeli knew the buyer was going to use them as weapons, JNS said. The buyer has previously been arrested for similar purchases from other dealers.

The unnamed seller and two other suspects were released to house arrest. The buyer paid $28,400 for the fireworks.

According to JNS, “Arab rioters … often use fireworks against security forces in eastern Jerusalem and shoot them into Jewish neighborhoods because they are cheap, available and often legal.”

The Number of Those Not Jewish Enough to Marry in Israel Doubles Since 2010

In the past seven years, the number of people rejected for marriage by Israel’s rabbinical courts for not being Jewish enough has more than doubled, JTA reported.

There were 103 people in 2010 (or 3.1 percent of all Israelis registered to marry that year) who had their Jewish status revoked and thus were unable to marry. That total increased to 231 people in 2017, or 6.7 percent of those registered to marry.

According to JTA, “up to 20 percent of Israeli couples are required to undergo background checks, most of them Russian speakers who immigrated under the Law of Return, which allows anyone with a Jewish grandparent to become a citizen.”

Before a marriage, Jewish couples are required to present evidence to a rabbinical court that shows they are Jewish. That might include parents’ ketubahs or wedding certificates; for immigrants, that might be a letter from a community rabbi that attests to their Jewishness.

Boston Cemetery to House Immigrant Center

The oldest Jewish cemetery is taking on new life as a center for new immigrants, the Times of Israel reported.

The burial chapel of the Ohabei Shalom Cemetery in East Boston will become the East Boston Immigration Center, with the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts holding a $2.5 million capital campaign for the restoration and retrofit.

The chapel hasn’t been used since the 1960s. The cemetery dates to 1844.


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