Jerusalem's Dormition Church suffers 'price tag' attack

12:00 May 31 2013 Church of the Dormition, Jerusalem

Jerusalem's Dormition Church suffers 'price tag' attack
The words 'Jesus is a monkey' and 'Havat Maon' sprawled the Church of the Dormition, Jerusalem, May 31, 2013. Photo by Emil Salman


The words 'Jesus is a monkey' and 'Havat Maon' are sprayed, and tires of two vehicles outside the Christian holy site are punctured; this was the second such attack at the site.

By Nir Hasson and Gili Cohen for Haaretz

The Church of the Dormition in Jerusalem was vandalized and tires of two vehicles parked outside it were punctured overnight Thursday in a suspected "price tag" attack.

The words "Jesus is a monkey" and "Havat Maon", the name of an illegal outpost built by settlers that was dismantled by the state this week, were sprayed on the holy site on Mount Zion, just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. The vandalism was discovered Friday morning.

The Dormition Church, built over a century ago near the site of the Last Supper, is one of the Franciscan order's most important holdings in the Holy Land.

Also on Friday, police found that tires of three vehicles had been punctured in Beit Ilo, in Binyamin, which is north-west of Ramallah. Graffiti was found on one of the vehicles, reading, "revenge", and on a nearby wall, with the words "price tag – regards from Baruch Tzuri to Eviatar", referring to Eviatar Borovsky, a father of five from the settlement of Yitzhar who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian at Tapuah Junction near Nablus on April 30.

The attack on the Dormition Church is the latest incident in a long line of antagonistic acts toward Christian institutions in Jerusalem, and marks the second time the Dormition Church has been targeted. The first time was in October 2012, when slogans desecrating Jesus Christ were sprayed, reading "Jesus, son of a bitch, price tag."

Following the latest incident, Bishop Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, said education was the answer to preventing racist acts such as this. “It is absolutely necessary to stop these acts of vandalism by promoting better education of youth, especially in schools,” he said, adding that this would constitute "a long-term process,” that would demand “a lot of patience.”

The Latin Patriarchate condemned acts of vandalism in Jerusalem, a holy city for three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, saying, "Such an act of violence is a despicable attempt to undermine coexistence between believers."

Over the past two years, dozens of "price tag" attacks have taken place in Jerusalem, the vast majority of which were directed toward the Christian community. Among sites targeted in recent "price tag" attacks have been the Monastery of the Cross, the Westboro Baptist Church in central Jerusalem, an abandoned mosque on Strauss Street, and the houses of left-wing activists, among others.

Members of the Tag Meir forum, which unites organizations that object to the "price tag" phenomenon, visited Friday morning the village of Zubeidat. The village, northeast of Jericho, suffered from "price tag" actions on Wednesday, when right-wing activists burned four cars and a tractor and spray painted malicious graffiti. During the visit, the delegation met with Brigade Commander Lieutenant Colonel Lauren Fartush, who said that it is only a matter of time until the perpetrators are arrested. "We will do whatever it takes to protect the peace of residents and their property," he said.


by IMEMC & Agencies

Friday May 31 2013, a number of Israeli settlers wrote anti-Christian graffiti on the back wall of a Christian Church, near the southern wall of the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

The settlers wrote various vulgar and racist statements, including “Christians are slaves”, “Christians are Monkeys”, in addition to “Price Tag”.

Israeli police spokeswoman for Arab media, Loba Samri, stated that the settlers are also believed to be behind puncturing the tires of two vehicles parked near the church.

“Price Tag” is a slogan the settlers use when attacking Palestinian property, churches and mosques.

The settlers believe that the Palestinians must pay the price every time Israeli removes an illegal settlement outpost. Dozens of attacks have been carried out by the settlers as part of their “Price Tag” assaults.

Such attacks also targeted Israeli leftist and peace groups as the settlers also blame them for any eviction of outposts.

On Friday, April 19, a group of extremist Israeli settlers occupied a Christian Monastery in a Palestinian village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and raised an Israeli flag over it.

On Wednesday May 29 2013, extremist settlers punctured tires of a number of Palestinian vehicles in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, and wrote racist graffiti.

On Wednesday morning, May 29, a group of Israeli settlers invaded the Az-Beidat area, near the West Bank city of Tubas, burnt four cars and a tractor, and wrote racist graffiti.

On Monday at dawn, April 27 2013, settlers defaced 15 Palestinian cars, in Sheikh Jarrah, and punctured their tires.

On Friday, May 24, extremist settlers punctured tires of five vehicles near the Gilo Israeli settlement, illegally built on Palestinian lands near Beit Jala city, in the West Bank district of Bethlehem.

In September of 2012, settlers burnt the main gate of the Latrun Christian Monastery west of Jerusalem, and wrote racist graffiti against Jesus Christ and against Christianity.

On Tuesday at dawn, June 19, settlers burnt a local mosque in Jaba’ Palestinian village, in occupied East Jerusalem, defaced some of its walls, and wrote Price Tag graffiti.

On February 20, 2012, settlers spray-painted racist graffiti on a church in occupied East Jerusalem in the third such incident since January 2012.

The graffiti also included “Death to Christians” and “price tag” was found on the walls of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation. Furthermore, residents of the area found their car tires slashed.
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