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Catholics call for Israeli hate-crime crackdown

irish 2012/09/22 13:55:44

Catholics call for Israeli hate-crime crackdown











Published: 20 September, 2012, 20:29












A Trappist monk walks between graffiti reading in Hebrew, "Jesus monkey" (L) and "mutual guarantee, Ramat Migron and Maoz Ester" (West Bank settlements), which was sprayed on the wall of the Christian Catholic Latrun monastery between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv after unknown people set the monastery’s door ablaze and vandalized its wall (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)




A Trappist monk walks
between graffiti reading in Hebrew, "Jesus monkey" (L) and "mutual
guarantee, Ramat Migron and Maoz Ester" (West Bank settlements), which
was sprayed on the wall of the Christian Catholic Latrun monastery
between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv after unknown people set the monastery’s
door ablaze and vandalized its wall (AFP Photo / Menahem Kahana)










TAGS:
Crime,
Religion,
Israel











A spate of hate crimes against Christian places of worship in
Israel has prompted usually reticent Roman Catholic officials to speak
out, hoping that intervention by authorities might bring an end to the
vandalism.


­In the early hours of September 4, vandals set fire to the door of a
renowned Trappist monastery in Latrun (outside Jerusalem) and defaced
it with anti-Christian graffiti, stating “Jesus is a monkey”.

In
the two weeks which have elapsed since the act of desecration, no
arrests have been made, despite police vows that the culprits would be
brought to justice. Similar incidences of vandalism also occurred in the
months preceding this attack.

The Rev. Pierbattista
Pizzaballa, one of the church's top officials in the Holy Land,
expressed deep concern over the state of relations between Jews and
Christians.

In an interview with the Associated Press,
Pizzaballa pointed out that because the local Christian population is
miniscule, they aren’t taken into consideration by “the majority”. Approximately 155,000 of Israel’s citizens are Christian, which equates to less than 2 per cent of the population.

He stated that “the main atmosphere is ignorance.”

However, he also told AP that the minority Christian population may not have invested “enough energy and initiatives” in reaching out to Israeli Jews.

The
“custos” (custodians) of Catholic holy sites, including Pizzaballa,
have issued a declaration, calling on leaders to act. Although he
recognizes that the arson and vandalism that Christians have been
victims of are not demonstrative of wider attitudes, he is firm that
Israel must do more.

In February this year, a Jerusalem monastery was tagged with the phrase “death to Christians,” painted in Hebrew, as part of what is now known as the “price tag campaign”. In July, an Israeli lawmaker ripped the New Testament out of a Bible and threw it into the garbage, later claiming that “millions of Jews were murdered in the name of the New Testament,” and calling the book “revolting.”

Shortly
after the September attack, a statement signed by the Latin Patriarch
for Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, and Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio for
Jordan, the Assembly of Catholics Ordinaries of the Holy Land asked, “what kind of ‘teaching of contempt’ for Christians is being communicated in their schools and in their homes?”

Pizzaballa echoed their concerns, asking AP, “What
is going on in Israeli society today that permits Christians to be
scapegoated [sic] and targeted by these acts of violence?”

http://rt.com/news/catholics-christian-vandalism-hate-598/


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