AJC Condemns Attacks on Christian Sites in Israel

JERUSALEM, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is appalled by today's offensive vandalism at the Church of the Dormition, the latest attack on a Christian holy site in Israel.

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"Vandalism of Christian holy sites in Israel is not only an attack against Christianity, but also constitutes an assault against the noble value of Judaism -- a desecration of the Divine Name. Moreover, it is an attack on Israel's longstanding and steadfast commitment to freedom of religion," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's Jerusalem-based Director of International Interreligious Affairs. "We count on the authorities to do their utmost to apprehend the perpetrators and discourage other such similarly-inspired crimes."

The Church of the Dormition is on Mt. Zion, near Jerusalem's Old City. The door of an adjacent Franciscan convent was defaced with graffiti that included the words "price tag."

Israeli police suspect that Jewish extremists are responsible for a series of vandalism attacks on churches and mosques. They have spray-painted "price tag" each time to express opposition to Israeli government policies they consider pro-Palestinian and anti-settler.

"We will do everything we can to get to the bottom of whoever spray-painted these sentences," said Moshe Bareket, assistant Jerusalem police commander, at the Dormition church.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, condemning those behind today's incident, said, "Price tag activities are in opposition to the Jewish religion and strike a great blow to Israel."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee