Hevron these days is full of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish graffiti, a testimony to the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of international anarchists running around the city these days, said Noam Arnon, spokesperson of the Hevron Jewish community. The anarchists, leftists, and radical Arabs who have descended on the town have filled nearly every wall with the graffiti, a testimony to the freedom in which they operate – and the fact that no one is stopping them from operating openly, something that could constitute a security danger to the community. “If they can draw graffiti freely, they may be able to act in other ways that endanger the community without anyone stopping them either,” Arnon said.
Most of the graffiti appears on David Hamelech Street, the main street in Hevron adjacent to the Jewish community. Among the slogans appearing on almost every (formerly) blank wall or storefront are “Welcome to Palestine,” “No Zionists here,” and various expletives, both in Arabic and English.
The graffiti attack comes after the Jewish community spent thousands of shekels on a beautification project, cleaning up the street. For years, storefronts and walls on David Hamelech Street have been the locus for graffiti and slogans by both Jews and Arabs, attacking each other and praising their own causes. The community spent NIS 10,000 to get rid of all the graffiti, but the anarchists and radicals have apparently decided to appropriate the street for their own brand of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish graffiti, Arnon said.
Among the anarchists are both Europeans and far-left Israeli radicals. These groups seem to have taken up residence in the city, and are funded by foreign organizations opposed to Jews being able to live in the historically Jewish city, with their main objective to create provocations in the city.
But the fact that they are able to operate as openly and freely as they do is dangerous in and of itself, Arnon said. “Just last week these groups conducted a violent demonstration, which degenerated into a riot, with anarchists and Arabs throwing rocks and firebombs at Jews.” The freedom with which these groups move about the town, symbolized by their takeover of the walls and storefronts of David Hamelech Street, “is a true security risk,” Arnon added.