Vandals strike Jerusalem church - New York News

Vandals strike Jerusalem church

Posted: Updated:

By LAUREN E. BOHN 

JERUSALEM (AP) — Vandals scribbled anti-Christian graffiti on the outer walls of one of Jerusalem's best-known churches early Tuesday morning, Israeli police said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the perpetrators defaced a wall leading to the Church of the Dormition. The century-old structure is built on the site where tradition says the Virgin Mary died.

The graffiti, which read "Jesus, son of a whore, price tag," had already been removed by midmorning, said Rosenfeld.

He says police are still searching for the assailants, though suspicion has fallen on a fringe group of pro-settler Jewish extremists who have carried out similar vandalism on churches, mosques and Israeli army property. They say the acts are in response to what they consider pro-Palestinian policies by the Israeli government, a form of retribution they call a "price tag."

Tuesday's graffiti is the latest in a wave of vandalism on Christian holy sites in Israel. Israel has about 155,000 Christian citizens, less than 2 percent of its 7.9 million people, but the repeated defacing of their sacred sites has shocked the country and drawn official condemnation.

"Price tag actions go against the morals and values of Judaism and do great harm to the State of Israel," said President Shimon Peres, speaking at a meeting with one of Israel's chief rabbis during a celebration of the Jewish festival of Sukkoth. "It is forbidden to harm the holy sites of religions and faiths," Peres said.

Church officials have said mere condemnation is not enough. In an interview with the Associated Press last month, one of the church's top officials in the Holy Land, the Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, called for action.

"It's important not just to condemn, but also to work, to take initiatives to stop this phenomenon," he said.

The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land posted a statement about the latest incident on the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, saying it was "distressed" with the vandalism.

"This is reminiscent of the graffiti sprayed in the Abbey of Latrun one month ago. Jesus is once again profaned and signed "price tag," a characteristic mark of Israeli extremists," the statement said.

Shortly after Israel evacuated an illegally built West Bank settler outpost last month, vandals burned a door and spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on the century-old Trappist Monastery in Latrun, outside Jerusalem, with the words "Jesus is a monkey."

In response, the church's top officials issued a "declaration" urging Israeli leaders to take action. Nearly a month later, no arrests have been made.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:42 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:42:31 GMT
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
  • Times Square to go gold for cancer research

    Times Square to go gold for cancer research

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:40 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:40:36 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Poll: Cuomo maintains big lead in NY gov race

    Poll: Cuomo maintains big lead in NY gov race

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:15:46 GMT
    Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo
    A new poll shows Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to maintain a 2-to-1 advantage over his Republican challenger in New York's gubernatorial race. The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gives Cuomo a 56 to 28 percent lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. That's essentially unchanged from Quinnipiac's poll in May.
    A new poll shows Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to maintain a 2-to-1 advantage over his Republican challenger in New York's gubernatorial race. The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gives Cuomo a 56 to 28 percent lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. That's essentially unchanged from Quinnipiac's poll in May.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices