» 09/05/2012, 00.00
Anti-Christian violence in Israel. Catholic leaders: Forces of hate
The main door of the Trappist monastery of Latrun burned. Graffiti offensive of the Christian faith. Perhaps revenge for the evacuation of an illegal Israeli settlement. Catholic patriarchs and bishops denounce: Christians used as scapegoats. Israeli society marked by teaching "of contempt." Netanyahu promises justice.
(AsiaNews) - "Christians are still being targeted. Why?" This is the
question of all the Catholic patriarchs and authorities in the Holy Land, along with the Nuncio to Jordan, Giorgio
Lingua, after yet another attack of vandalism on a place of Christian worship
and writings offensive to their faith.
the Trappist monastery of Latrun was attacked, the main gate was burned and the
façade covered in orange graffiti. One
reads in Hebrew: "Jesus is a monkey," while others refer to
"Ramat Migron" and "Maoz Esther," two illegal Jewish
week, the Israeli police evacuated outposts of Migron because it was built on
private Palestinian land.
have opened an investigation but so far there are leads. The
hypothesis points to Israeli extremist settlers venting their anger against the
monastery, which is located near the border of the occupied territories, 15 km
west of Jerusalem.
statement of the settlers of Migron denies any responsibility in the act of
the late afternoon yesterday the Catholic leaders of the Holy
Land published a message denouncing "their horror" at the
presence of "forces of hatred in Israeli society."
message highlights the great work of dialogue with the Jewish world brought
forward by the monks of Latrun and the fact that the monastery is visited by
hundreds of Israeli Jews every week, who are all welcomed "with love and
warmth by the monks."
leaders do note, however, that "what happened in Latrun is just the latest
episode in a long series of attacks against Christians and their places of
all these years there have been acts of vandalism and contempt for the church
near the Upper Room (see 16/12/2009 More
Jewish anti-Christian graffiti at the Cenacle
and 12/12/2009 "Death
to Christians": Hebrew graffiti next to Upper Room in Jerusalem),
Orthodox and Protestant churches to (see: 27/02/2012 Holy
Land Custos writes to Shimon Peres calling for an end to church vandalism).
these acts are called "price tag" attack, as the "price" for
being enemies of the Jewish settlements, or Israel. The
extremists who perform them are targeting Palestinian homes, olive groves,
mosques, and now also Israeli police and Christian sites.
the bishops and the Catholic Patriarchs wonder: What is going on in Israeli
society today that permits Christians to be scapegoated and targeted by these
acts of violence?" ..."What kind of 'teaching of contempt' for
Christians is being communicated in their schools and in their homes? And why
are the culprits not found and brought to justice.
"It is time for the authorities to put an end to this senseless violence
and ensure a" teaching of respect "in schools for all those who call
this land home."
reference to '"teaching of contempt" is related to the fact that
sometimes, some of these acts of vandalism are committed by Orthodox Jewish
yeshiva students, who also express their disgust towards Christians with
slogans, throwing stones and spitting.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the violence against the Latrun monastery
as "a criminal act" saying that "those responsible will be
Minister Ehud Barak asked the Shin Bet, domestic intelligence, to step up its
vigilance in this "battle against Jewish terrorism."
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