Monastery in Israel vandalized with anti-American epithets

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Catholic monastery in a central Israeli village was vandalized with anti-American and anti-Christian epithets.

“America is Nazi Germany” and “Price Tag — Peace Agreement,” as well as “Jesus is a monkey” and “Mary is a cow,” were spray-painted on the walls of the monastery in Deir Rafat near Beit Shemesh, about 20 miles west of Jerusalem. The tires of four vehicles also were slashed.

Monks discovered the vandalism on Tuesday morning; Jerusalem police are investigating.

“Price tag” refers to the strategy adopted by extremist settlers and their supporters generally to exact retribution for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews , called the apparent price tag attack “a disgraceful act of vandalism.”

The attack “goes against the core values of Judaism,” Eckstein said. “As Jews we respect all people and places of faith. This particular attack targeted not only our Christian brothers and sisters but Israel’s greatest ally, the United States of America, something we utterly reject. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews holds the bridges of tolerance and understanding between Jews and Christians as a central value and will continue to work to bring the two faiths together.”

Other monasteries in the area have been victims of suspected price tag attacks in the past.

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