Members of a group called Jews Against Genocide (JAG) claimed responsibility for defacing the newly erected sign to the Kalandiya terminal checkpoint north of Jerusalem, daubing on it the infamous Auschwitz inscription "Arbeit macht frei" (Work liberates).
Shlomo Bloom, one of the founding members of the organization, said the action was not to say that Kalandiya is equivalent to Auschwitz but to accentuate the frightening similarities between the two. "Kalandiya is not a cheerful place for Palestinians," he told The Jerusalem Post. "There are disturbing parallels between the tactics used by the occupying forces and those of the Nazis," he said. The sign, decorated with a painted flower and inscribed in Arabic, English and Hebrew with the slogan "The hope of us all," is one of many being erected at checkpoints, security officials said.
But Bloom views the move as a degrading and humiliating message for the Palestinians. "If we were talking about a sovereign Palestinian state with a border checkpoint between it and Israel, it would be a different matter," said Bloom.
Earlier in the week, security officials had suspected that women from the Machsom Watch checkpoint monitoring group were behind the graffiti, a charge that was vehemently denied by the movement's spokeswoman Adi Dagan.
Bloom refused to accept that the West Bank checkpoints and terminals was a direct outcome of Palestinian terror.