'Price Tag' graffiti (file)
'Price Tag' graffiti (file) Israel news photo: Flash 90

A young man from a Jewish community near Jerusalem has been arrested for alleged involvement in “price tag” activities. The 21-year-old man, who has not been named, is accused of spray-painting “price tag” and anti-Arab slogans in various places in Jerusalem.

The man has reportedly confessed to the allegations, and has told police he was motivated by hate.

Several acts of vandalism have been reported recently in which walls were defaced with the words “price tag,” meant to seem a response to PA attacks or security forces’ involvement in the demolition of Judea and Samaria communities. Some more serious vandalism has occurred as well, including damage to IDF reservists’ vehicles near Beit El, and alleged arson targeting mosques.

The “price tag” phenomenon “is like a virulent, dangerous cancerous growth that must be uprooted,” Education Minister Gidon Saar said Wednesday, speaking at an event to mark 16 years since the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.

“Those involved in ‘price tag’ are doing harm to Judaism and to the land of Israel,” he continued. “Law enforcement officials must act to eradicate this phenomenon.”

Price tag operations, although unproven, have been widely condemned, although some have expressed understanding for the motivation to respond to Arab terrorism and attacks. Others have accused police of using “price tag” activities as an excuse for wrongful arrests, while ignoring vandalism committed by Arabs.

Arutz Sheva spoke to Sarah Eliash, winner of the Education Ministry's Prize for Education, founder and forrmer head of Ulpenat Lehavah in Kedumim, and one of the founders of the new Council for Judea and Samaria, who said: "it is hard to hear Minister Saar’s remarks, not because I disagree with their intent, but because I have never heard similarly sharp words used to describe those who malign Israel and incite against ‘settlers’ and Jews.

"If there is a cancerous growth in our country, it is odd that the 'price tag' phenomenon is singled out for this title.  There are malignant, destructive elements in the Jewish state, such as university lecturers who receive state supported salaries and wreak damage that costs lives, and it is infuriating to see only one group condemned.

"No one has proven who is actually doing the so-called price tag vandalism, and after Avishai Raviv  (Raviv was an ISA agent planted in rightist circles who acted as provocateur, encouraging anti-Rabin and anti-government actions before the PM's assassination), I wonder if we are not seeing another instance of planted provocation.

"I do condemn any Jew who lives in Judea and Samaria and throws rocks at cars.. We have a sovereign state and everyone cannot take the law into his own hands.  One can empathize with their anger and bitterness, but there are other groups that feel the same about other issues…the state does have to root out this kind of behavior, if it can be proven,  if it wants to survive."