ADL Strongly Rejects ‘Price Tag Attacks’ On Christian Holy Sites

Jerusalem, Israel, December 12, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the most recent so-called “price tag attacks” on Christian religious institutions in Israel, including Jerusalem's Monastery of the Cross and an Armenian Cemetery “despicable and increasingly heinous.”

According to Israeli news reports, the perpetrators spray painted, "Jesus is a son of a b***h" on the monastery and in addition, three cars nearby were vandalized, one with graffiti reading “Happy Hanukkah, triumph for the Maccabees.”

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat have strongly condemned today’s attacks.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:

We stand with our Christian friends to forcefully condemn these heinous attacks, including the despicable desecration of a Christian cemetery - a violation of the dead which should be sacred to everyone. This represents a new, worse form of humiliation, and clearly demonstrates that the price tag attackers have sunken to a new low. The nature of the anti-Christian graffiti, particularly insulting Jesus, is telling in that it is an attack on religion.

We call on the head of the new law enforcement task force assembled to publicly address and investigate the so-called ‘price-tag’ incidents and regularly brief the public and Christian leaders about the progress being made to identify and arrest the perpetrators.

We further call for the formation of a coalition of appropriate Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders to raise public consciousness against the religious based hatred that appears to be at the heart of these attacks against religious figures and houses of worship.”

We commend the clear response by Israeli leadership for their swift response and strongly encourage the Israeli government to undertake a public service educational campaign, condemning all attacks against other religions in Israel, as being, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared today, against ‘the Jewish values according to which we were raised and according to which we raise our children.’

Over the past few years, extremist Israeli Jews have engaged in the so-called “price tag” campaign, in which Muslim and Christian sites have been vandalized with extremist and pro-settler graffiti, and in some cases, committed arson.  The perpetrators claim these acts of violence are retribution for government policies they construe as anti-settler.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.