Arab price tag at Elazar Hacohen tomb
Arab price tag at Elazar Hacohen tombBinyamin Tzedaka

Yossi Dagan, Deputy Head of the Samaria (Shomron) Regional Council, sharply criticized the media and President Shimon Peres for ignoring last week's vandalism on the grave of Elazar, the son of Aaron the Cohen from the Torah.

Arab graffiti was found scrawled all over the ancient grave of Elazar Hacohen, the son of Moses's brother Aaron from the Torah, in the Samarian village of Awarta near Itamar. The Arab graffiti praised the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in fighting the "Zionist enemy" to "free Palestine."

"This is not the first time that Arabs have desecrated this holy place," Dagan noted. "It is amazing to see the President's silence, after he denounced every kind of graffiti against Arabs to the press. What's even more amazing is the almost total silence of the hypocritical media."

"The Israeli media is the one that has been fueling the fire for years now over the so-called 'price-tag' phenomenon," Dagan continued, "with graffiti on the walls [of Arab villages] making headlines and being the subject of speculation for days. "

"The hypocrisy of the journalists is exposed time and time again when it comes to desecration of the tombs of Israel's patriarchs by Arabs, however: all of a sudden the subject is not so exciting anymore," Dagan added. 

"You can only imagine what would be going on in the media if the Jews had desecrated an Arab shrine and filled it with inciting nationalistic graffiti," said Dagan. "The silence hurts because it shows the hypocrisy and duplicity - as well as, perhaps, the lack of concern - among the media bigwigs and the President."

Dagan noted that the site is not an obscure one; the Shomron Regional Council arranges tours every year of the ancient tomb, which also holds Elazar's brother Itamar and the 70 elders from the Torah. According to Dagan, "thousands of worshipers from all sectors, communities, and circles" have visited the site. 

"Since Gershon Mesika became the head of the council, we have made preserving ancient sites a priority - especially the tombs of Yehoshua Bin Nun (Joshua) and Calev (Caleb)," he added. "We have a responsibility to keep these holy sites for the sake of the entire Jewish people, both in Israel and abroad."