Four haredi suspects from Jerusalem, Ashdod and Bnei Brak are under arrest on
suspicion of spray painting anti- Zionist hate slogans on the Yad Vashem
Holocaust museum on June 11, police announced Tuesday morning.
arrests were carried out by the elite central unit of the Judea and Samaria
district, following an undercover investigation which focused on the handwriting
in the messages to track down suspects.
Police searched the homes of the
suspects, who are members of Natorei Karta and seized large amounts of texts
condemning Zionism and Israel; PLO flags; and paint. Texts suspected to be
incitement to hatred were also found on computers.
Police accused the
suspects of painting the graffiti at Yad Vashem, which shocked the country and
deeply upset Holocaust survivors, as well as being responsible for graffiti at
Ammunition Hill on Remembrance Day and vandalizing army memorials throughout the
Jordan Valley. On one of the memorials they wrote “Shimon Peres is Amalek,” a
biblical reference to the enemies of the Jewish people.
Three of the
suspects were remanded on Tuesday in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, and the
fourth was arrested early on Tuesday. Two of the suspects from Bnei Brak and
Jerusalem will remain in detention while the 26-yearold suspect from Ashdod will be released to house
Lawyers for the suspects insisted that they had nothing
to do with the events, and the only thing they were guilty of is sending
anti-Zionist text messages. At least one of the suspects is undergoing
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that all of
the suspects were members of Natorei Karta.
Natorei Karta is a small but
vocal, extreme anti-Zionist sect, which believes that the founding of the State
of Israel, without specific divine intervention, was a sin.
spray-painted slogan said, “If Hitler hadn’t existed, the Zionists would have
“Thanks Hitler for the wonderful Holocaust you organized
for us! Only because of you we received a state,” read another, while a third
slogan was, “Jews, wake up, the evil regime does not protect us, it only
One of the graffiti slogans was signed “World haredi
Jewry.” That, as well as the content of the graffiti, led police to believe that
the vandalism was carried out by extremist anti- Zionist factions within the
haredi community, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben- Ruby said at the time
of the attack.
“I believe that it was important to know the identities of
those who spray-painted the graffiti,” said Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev.
“The suspects are extremist ultra- Orthodox Jews, anti-Zionists, who are on the
fringes of society and do not represent the majority who respect the memory of
Shalev said the vandalism attack two weeks ago was the
largest the museum has ever experienced, and that it was the worst thing he had
seen in his career.
“Throughout all of Jewish society and Israeli society
[Yad Vashem is] a symbol of unity, of tolerance, of values and openness, of
discourse and dialogue among all types of ideas,” said Shalev on the day of the