Ajami synagogue defaced with swastikas

Residents say assailants “just some stupid kids doing stupid things and making a big mess for everyone.”

April 18, 2010 17:34
1 minute read.
Jaffa's Ajami neighborhood

ajami neighborhood 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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Tel Aviv Police are investigating who drew swastikas and Palestinian flags on a synagogue in Jaffa’s mixed Jewish-Arab Ajami neighborhood.

Late Saturday night, unknown assailants vandalized the synagogue, writing the graffiti in charcoal, which was quickly washed off Sunday morning. In addition, someone punctured the tires of a car belonging to a Jewish family that lives next to the synagogue.

The Beit El synagogue is a small single-level building on a small residential street in Ajami, next to the French ambassador’s house and the Arab-Jewish Center of Jaffa. A plaque outside the synagogue refers to it as “Beit-El synagogue for Jews from Turkey.”

The synagogue is not among the new shuls or yeshivas in Jaffa, some of which have sparked tension with some of the long-term residents of the neighborhood.

Sarah Abu-Zaid, an elderly woman living in a house next to the synagogue said that the Jews who worship at Beit El “have been here for over 50 years, they’ve been here as long as I have.”

“We’ve always had good relations with them, this is a strange thing,” she said.

A resident of a house at the end of the cul-de-sac, Ali, said that he believed that the vandals were “just some stupid kids doing stupid things and making a big mess for everyone.”

A Tel Aviv Police spokesman said there were no suspects yet and could not confirm if children or teens were suspected.

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