“I wish I could have blown up the Knesset, the Supreme Court and several IDF bases,” said Elhanan Esterovitch, who is suspected of being behind the vandalism attack on the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem.
Esterovitch, 31, a haredi resident of Jerusalem, was arraigned on Tuesday and is being accused of trespassing, vandalism and damaging public property.
Police are alleging that Esterovitch was responsible for defacing Yad Vashem's main entrance, spraying graffiti reading "Hitler, thanks for the Holocaust," "If Hitler didn’t exist the Zionists would have had to invent him," "Israel is the secular Auschwitz of the Sephardic Jewry" and "Jews wake up – the Zionist regime is dangerous."
Three other suspects were detained following the attack.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said the attack, which shocked the country and deeply pained Holocaust survivors, was the worst the museum has ever experienced and asserted the importance of discovering the identities of those involved.
“I believe that it was important to know the identities of those who spray-painted the graffiti,” he said. “The suspects are extremist ultra- Orthodox Jews, anti-Zionists, who are on the fringes of society and do not represent the majority who respect the memory of the Holocaust.”
“Throughout all of Jewish society and Israeli society [Yad Vashem is] a symbol of unity, of tolerance, of values and openness, of discourse and dialogue among all types of ideas,” Shalev said on the day of the attack.