Jewish students visit defaced Dormition Abbey

Students from Im Tirtzu say the act was 'at its very core both anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli.'

Gil Ronen ,

Dormition Abbey
Dormition Abbey
Nati Shochat:Flash 90

Students from the grassroots Zionist Im Tirtzu movement visited the Dormition Abbey Sunday evening after it was defaced in a so-called "Price Tag" vandalism attack, to show their support and solidarity.

The hateful sayings that were written on the Abbey’s walls included “Death to Christians, enemies of Israel," “The vengeance of the Israelites will come," “Death to Christians,” and much damage was caused to property.

The students strongly condemned the vandalism and noted that this is not the way of Judaism and of the Zionist enterprise. They came bearing a letter of support.

Father Gabriel Naddaf, Chairman of the Forum for Drafting the Christian Community and the spiritual leader of the Aramaic Christian community in Israel, expressed his appreciation for the movement's action: “This is an important step that shows those radical elements that the majority are disgusted by their actions and that another way is possible. While others talk, Im Tirtzu shows that it acts towards true coexistence and out of a true and sincere concern for the relations between the Jews and the Christians, and to strengthen the Israeli society.”

Matan Peleg, Chairman of Im Tirtzu, noted: “We categorically condemn the attack on the Dormition Abbey and see this as an act that is at its very core both anti-Zionist as well as anti-Israeli, an act which dangerously threatens all of the Israeli society."

"If this act was done on the background of the dispute over the price of the building, then this is even worse! If this is the case, then this is a contemptible act like no other, turning a legitimate civil disagreement which can be resolved in any available court into an artificial religious struggle, one that is full of hate and in which there are only losers. We call upon the security forces not to let up until the perpetrators are apprehended. We strengthen the Christian Israelis serving in the Israel Defense Forces and in the Civil-National Service who were hurt by this event and promise to continue our fight against this phenomenon.”

Patrol officers from the Old City’s David precinct found the graffiti Sunday on a Christian hostel in the Old City as well as on one of the outer walls of Dormition Abbey. The graffiti was written in black marker. Police opened an investigation and the Division of Identification and Forensic Science is investigating both locations.

The abbey issued a statement which said, "these inscriptions are not only against Jesus, but they also call for the death of Christians and to throw Christians into Hell! How long will these vandalistic acts be allowed to continue?"