Latest price tag attack against J'lem church

Police looking into connection with anti-Christian graffiti 2 weeks ago at Valley of the Cross.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
February 20, 2012 20:59
1 minute read.
Vandalized Baptist Church in Jerusalem

Vandalized Baptist Church in Jerusalem 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Price-tag vandals struck again in downtown Jerusalem overnight on Sunday, defacing a prominent Baptist church. Vandals scrawled “Death to Christians,” “We will crucify you” and “Jesus son of Mary the whore” on the exterior of the building.

Three cars, some of which did not belong to the church, were spray painted and had their tires slashed.

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The attack came two weeks after similar sentences were spray painted on the Valley of the Cross monastery, and a bilingual Arab-Jewish school in the Pat neighborhood was covered with anti-Arab graffiti.

Police arrested a 19-yearold man suspected of the vandalism at the Arab-Jewish school, but have no leads for the attacks against the Baptist Church or the Valley of the Cross.

Jerusalem spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said police are investigating the possibility of a connection between the vandalization of the two churches.

This is not the first time that the Jerusalem Baptist Church, located on Narkis Street, was attacked with grafitti. In the 1980s, a church building was burned to the ground by arsonists, and recently, vandals broke into the sanctuary of the hous of worship and set fire to it in three places, said Chad Knight, an administrator at the church.

“I was extremely disturbed and upset to see it,” Knight told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. “Baptists have been in Israel since 1911.”

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“One of the things they spray painted on the wall was ‘Price tag’ and we feel that we’ve been willing to pay a price for 100 years supporting Israel,” he said. “We still love and support Israel and the Jewish people, we’re just extremely hurt and disturbed.”

Knight added that Israelis responded with a “tremendous outpouring of apologies,” including strangers who brought bouquets of flowers after seeing the graffiti.

Price-tag attacks are a tool used by Jewish extremists to protest government and army policies they perceive as antisettlement.

The use of the phrase comes from their claim that vandalism against Arab property is the “price” that must be paid for the evacuation of settlements and the demolition of housing.

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