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Haifa Bay Man Found Guilty of Desecrating Tombstones

One of two Jews arrested for defacing tombstones was found guilty Thursday and other was kept in custody pending the outcome of psychiatric examinations.

A Haifa magistrate’s court will sentence 42-year-old David Goldner, a resident of Kiryat Motzkin, next week for spraying anti-Jewish slogans on more than 300 headstones in the Hof Carmel and Kfar Samir cemeteries during the night of May 12.

His co-defendant, 32-year-old Gershon Tennenbaum of Kiryat Yam, was held for further examination.

The two men, who described themselves as ba’al teshuvim–returnees to Orthodox Judaism–admitted their crimes while describing them selves as messianic envoys.

They said that as “emissaries of the Messiah,” they wanted to free the Jewish people and draw attention to the dangers facing the Jewish people and Israel. Both have been described by police as “eccentric.”

Their rampage through the cemeteries followed by two days the desecration of a historic Jewish cemetery in Carpentras, southern France, which drew worldwide condemnation.

Police investigators told the Haifa court that Goldner purchased six cans of black paint, which he used to spray anti-Jewish slogans–dictated by Tennenbaum–on the headstones. Their admitted purpose was to cast blame on Arabs.

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