Israelis who went to pray at an ancient synagogue near Jericho were appalled to find that the building had been vandalized. Swastikas and pro-Palestinian Authority slogans had been painted on the gate of the building and on an ancient mural.
The synagogue, in Naarin, has been desecrated in the past. However, residents of the region said, the latest incident shows that vandals have “crossed a red line.”
“The historic mural that was desecrated is an important testimony to our people’s history,” said heads of the Jewish community in the Jericho region. “A people that does not protect its past has no future.”
Community leaders added, “If the IDF cannot protect the synagogue, we will do it.”
MK Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi) called for the police and Shin Bet to react to the vandalism “as if the synagogue had been a mosque.” Police have frequently arrested Jewish youth in connection to “price tag” vandalism of Palestinian Authority property.
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein called to learn from the incident the incident. “Why is anyone surprised that Palestinians, who destroyed and desecrated findings on the Temple Mount, had no problem desecrating an ancient synagogue?” he asked.
“This incident proves yet again that places holy to Jews must be under Israeli sovereignty,” he added. “That is the only way they will be protected.”