Anti-Semitic graffiti (illustrative)
Anti-Semitic graffiti (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sundayvoted in favor of a bill that changes the laws regarding so-called “price tag” vandalism. Currently considered a misdemeanor, the ministers said they would support a proposed law that would treat such attacks as “acts of terror.”

The law change was suggested by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. The purpose of the change, she said, was to “provide the tools needed by the security forces in order to deal with a phenomenon that has become widespread in the past year, despite efforts by police and the army to stop it.”

The “price tag” incidents are usually attributed to Jewish youths, who police claim scrawl graffiti on buildings in Arab neighborhoods, or slash tires of vehicles belonging to Arabs. The incidents usually come in the wake of terror attacks by Arabs against Jews. The graffiti itself often consists of just the term “price tag.” In most cases, police are unable to track down the perpetrators.

The incidents are usually widely reported in the Hebrew media, and the culprits are usually considered to be religious youths from Judea and Samaria, or from national-religious communities in Jerusalem. Last week, however, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor David Hadari said that there were many “Arab price tag” incidents that the media never reported, such as the desecration of a synagogue in Safra Square, adjacent to the Jerusalem Municipality building.

The synagogue was scrawled “with very insulting comments against Jewish residents of Jerusalem,” so there was little doubt of which ethnic group the perpetrators belonged to, Hadari wrote on his Facebook page. While the media reported every “price tag” incident in which Arab property was damaged, Hadari said, there seemed to be no media interest at all in similar attacks by Arabs against Jewish property. “It appears the media is not very interested in Arab 'price tag' attacks,” he wrote.

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