JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three haredi Orthodox men were arrested for allegedly spray-painting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel graffiti on the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
The men, aged 18, 26 and 27, of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak and reportedly of the Neturei Karta group, were arrested Tuesday and reportedly admitted committing the vandalism earlier this month. They are also suspected of being connected to vandalism attacks at Ammunition Hill on Memorial Day and on memorials in the Jordan Valley.
The slogans, written in Hebrew, included "Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust," "If Hitler did not exist, the Zionists would have invented him," and "The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people."
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev praised the quick and effective work of the police.
"I believe that it was important to know the identities of those who spray-painted the graffiti. The suspects are extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews, anti-Zionists, who are on the fringes of society, and do not represent the majority who respect the memory of the Holocaust," Shalev said. "Numerous reactions that we received from Israel and around the world, expressing condemnation and repugnance of the graffiti testify that this warped action offended many, and I hope that the court will mete out justice to the criminals."
The Neturei Karta is a group of Orthodox Jews that rejects Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, believing that a legitimate Israel can only be reestablished with the coming of the Messiah.