"The comparison between Price Tag actions to neo-Nazi groups is disgusting and cheapens the Holocaust,” said Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) Saturday evening, in reaction to a statement by writer Amos Oz.
"There is no way of comparing Nazism, the essence of which was annihilation of other nations in the name of the superiority of the Aryan race, to spraying graffiti and puncturing of tires,” Ariel explained. “Price Tag is a serious crime that the Shin Bet and police must put an end to, and its perpetrators must be put on trial, but until now, they have failed in their mission.”
MK Yoni Chetboun, also from the Jewish Home party, accused Oz of “prostituting the memory of the Holocaust and making light of the severity of the Nazis' actions.”
Oz, who is Israel's best known writer, said that Jews behind a wave of hate crimes against Muslims and Christian are "Hebrew neo-Nazis."
“I cannot stand to hear that term ‘price tag’, and even more so I can’t stand to hear the term ‘hilltop youth’,” Oz said at his 75th birthday celebration, according to Channel 2 News.
“It's time we look at this monster straight in the eye. ‘Price tag’ and ‘hilltop youth’ are just are sweet nicknames for a monster that is time to call by its name,” he continued, adding that those who carried out these vandalism attacks were “Jewish neo-Nazi groups.”
"There is nothing that the neo-Nazis in Europe do and these groups do not do,” charged Oz. “Time to call them by name. Perhaps the only difference is that our neo-Nazi groups enjoy the backing of quite a few nationalist, even racist legislators, as well as rabbis who have give them a pseudo-religious basis.”
Earlier Friday, vandals spray-painted anti-Christian graffiti on a Jerusalem church, despite police stepping up security around religious sites ahead of a visit by Pope Francis later this month.
"Price tag... King David for the Jews... Jesus is garbage" was written in Hebrew on the wall of St George's Romanian Orthodox church.
Police also said "Death to Arabs" was found written on a house in the Old City in east Jerusalem, and swastikas were scrawled on the wall of a west Jerusalem apartment.
After Hebrew graffiti reading "Death to Arabs and Christians and to everyone who hates Israel" was daubed on its Notre Dame complex in Jerusalem on Monday, the Roman Catholic church demanded Israeli action.
"The bishops are very concerned about the lack of security and lack of responsiveness from the political sector, and fear an escalation of violence," the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said.
Although police have made scores of arrests, there have been nearly no successful prosecutions for such attacks.
The Pope's visit to the region is scheduled to begin in Jordan on May 24.
Nationalists in Israel have expressed frustration and disbelief at the huge media-political uproar about Price Tag vandalism, which consists mostly of graffiti, in comparison with the complete silence about similar vandalism against Jews, and low-key coverage of murderous terror attacks.