The hate crimes that don’t make headlines

Attacks on mosques and churches rightly outrage Israelis. But why don’t attacks on Jewish sites?

May 12, 2014 14:36
Price tag

Vehicle vandalized in suspected price tag attack in Yokne'am. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Kudos to the Religious Zionists of America for choosing this particular moment – when Israel is in an uproar over a recent wave of anti-Arab hate crimes whose targets have included mosques and churches – to point out that attacks no less heinous are regularly committed against Israel’s Jewish holy sites. I doubt the organization’s petition, signed by over 100 Orthodox rabbis, will get much attention here, but it should. For there’s something morally perverse about the idea that in the Jewish state, of all places, Judaism should be the one religion whose holy sites can be vandalized without sparking a public outcry.

The anti-Arab vandalism, which has involved slashing car tires, spray-painting graffiti and even occasional arson, is unequivocally reprehensible, and the public uproar is fully warranted. But attacks on Jewish sites have been going on much longer and have frequently been more severe, without eliciting a fraction of the political and media attention recently devoted to the vandalism of Christian and Muslim sites. So are anti-Jewish attacks somehow less reprehensible?


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