Hateful graffiti was spray-painted on the walls of several Arab homes and shops near Jerusalem’s Old City early Wednesday morning.The words “death to Arabs,” “price tag” and “prison service” were affixed to multiple walls in crude Hebrew by Jewish extremists, according to police.Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said an investigation has been opened, although no arrests have been made.
The vandalism comes amid heightened tensions in the capital between Arabs and Jews following a Monday firebombing in the Beit Hanina neighborhood that badly burned a Jewish woman and rioting on the Temple Mount the previous day.The violence followed Friday’s firebombing in the West Bank, believed to be carried out by Jewish terrorists, that killed a Palestinian toddler and critically wounded his parents and brother.Meir Margalit, a former Jerusalem Municipality Meretz councilman who held the east Jerusalem portfolio, said on Wednesday that the escalating violence and hate crimes carried out by Jews and Arabs has made “Jerusalem a dangerous place to live.”“Jewish and Arab extremists are trying to destroy each other and the community fabric of the city,” he said. “This is a place that has become so hard to live in that I understand that the younger generation is leaving the city to live in safer places.” Margalit also took Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to task for spending too much of the municipal budget on cultural festivals, and not enough on education.“The mayor should invest more money in education programs to make the city a place that will be easier to live in,” he said. “Violence and intolerance are the main issues facing the city.We don’t need more festivals, we need more peace between people.”For his part, Barkat has said a sizable portion of this year’s municipal budget has been earmarked to building more Arab schools and improving east Jerusalem’s foundering infrastructure.
Jewish People Policy Institute senior fellow discusses Jewish terror