Vandals hit J'lem church in suspected 'price tag'
By MELANIE LIDMAN
Police say graffiti spray-painted on Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion, including the words "price tag" and "Jesus is a bastard."
Vandals attacked the Franciscan convent on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion early on
Tuesday morning, spray-painting it with anti- Christian graffiti in the third
“price tag” attack against a Christian site this year.
painted the words “price tag” and “Jesus is a bastard” on the door of the
Franciscan convent, located adjacent to the Dormition Abbey
The graffiti was immediately erased after its discovery, as
thousands of international tourists walk by the site each
Asst.-Cmdr. Moshe Bareket, the head of the David precinct in
Jerusalem, said that police were notified of the incident early Tuesday morning
by a priest.
“We will do everything we can to get to the bottom of
whoever spray-painted these sentences,” Bareket said outside the
He added that police are using “technological means” to locate
There are hundreds of cameras located in and around
Jerusalem’s Old City, including at least three at Zion Gate that have a view of
A tourist souvenir vendor next to the convent whose first name
is Kaybeh said he saw the graffiti when he arrived in the morning and that the
priests were “very upset.” He added that it was not the first time that
extremists had vandalized the church, and every few months authorities have to
deal with some kind of graffiti in the area.
The Assembly of Catholic
Ordinaries in the Holy Land blamed the latest anti-Christian attack on the
“contempt and intolerance” taught in Israeli schools.
anything, the assembly again asks that radical changes be made in the
educational system; otherwise the same causes will produce the same effects over
and over,” the organization said in a statement.
Political leaders were
also quick to condemn the price tag attack.
“We are a people of belief
and good deeds,” said President Shimon Peres. “Price tag activities are in
opposition to the Jewish religion and strike a great blow to
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed “a culture of
hatred and racism that has become mainstream among Israelis.”
textbooks and official statements advocating that Jerusalem should be
exclusively Jewish, with total rejection of the Palestinian Christian and Muslim
identity of the city, have paved the way for gangs of terrorists to attack
Christian and Muslim holy sites,” he said.
National police spokesman
Mickey Rosenfeld said that the special investigation unit created to deal with
two other anti- Christian attacks earlier this year has been tasked with looking
into the latest one as well.
In September, following the evacuation of
the Migron outpost, suspected right-wing vandals spray-painted “Jesus is a
monkey” in large orange letters on the outside of the Latrun monastery. They
also burned the wooden door at the monastery entrance.
incident prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack as “a
criminal act” and state that “those responsible must be severely
In February, two cars and a stone fence at the Valley of the
Cross monastery in Jerusalem were covered with anti-Christian graffiti, and
cars’ tires were slashed. The vandals wrote “Jesus drop dead,” “Death to
Christians” and “Kahane was right.”
No suspects were arrested in
connection with the previous anti-Christian attacks.
Jerusalem Post staff
contributed to this report.