Jerusalem Latin Patriarch Condemns Israel Convent Vandalism

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The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem condemned Tuesday an assault by vandals overnight on a Roman Catholic convent, demanding that police catch the perpetrators.

The vandals daubed "Mary is a cow" and "America (is) Nazi Germany" on the walls of the Deir Rafat convent and slashed the tires of five vehicles parked nearby, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Patriarch Fuad Twal, the Holy Land's senior Roman Catholic prelate, said "we condemn these repeated attacks and expect the police to arrest (those responsible).

"This is not the first time there have been attacks on Christian places of worship and until now we've not heard of the trial of anyone involved," he told Agence France Presse at the scene.

The attack, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Jerusalem, also drew condemnation from an interfaith group that represents the main Jewish, Christian and Muslim bodies in the Holy Land.

"The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land expresses its shock and distress on the acts of vandalism and graffiti" at Deir Rafat, a statement said, calling on Israeli authorities "to intensify its efforts" to catch and prosecute those involved.

"The council calls upon people from all faiths to respect all holy places and sites for all three religions, and strongly discourages extremists' behavior that exploits or involves religion in a political or territorial dispute."

Our Lady, Queen of Palestine convent, as it is also known, was founded before the creation of Israel in 1948 and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The incident there bore the hallmarks of a so-called "price tag" attack -- a euphemism for a politically motivated act of vandalism by hardline Jewish settlers.

Although the attacks initially targeted Palestinians and their property, the scope has expanded to include anyone seen as opposed to the settlements.

Over the past few years, churches and Christian graveyards, anti-settlement activists and even, on occasion, the Israeli army have been targeted.

Very few perpetrators have been caught or prosecuted.

Last July, two suspects were arrested on suspicion of a 2012 incident in which vandals torched the door of a Trappist monastery in Latrun, some 10 kilometers (six miles) from Deir Rafat.

They also scrawled "Jesus is a monkey" on a nearby wall, shocking the religious and political establishment.

Comments 7
Default-user-icon A-Team (Guest) 01 April 2014, 16:16

@Southern: While we share your disgust and anger towards this state of hate and oppression, doesn't suggest the fact that we agree that Geagea considers it as a friendly state.

We all know what the Israelis/Zionists did/do/will do to the Arabs (or even all non-Jews around the world). Moreover, being from the South makes me hate those animals even more. However, when you bring me an official statement that Geagea made stating that Israel a friendly state, I will take my hate off for you.

On the other hand: If you're implying to the fact how the Lebanese Forces took weapons from Israel, you already know the circumstances that led them to do it...God forbid, if those circumstance came again, they will get all the weaponry they can get from anywhere. This is war man...That's why it's called war...You don't want to know the supply channels other political parties have utilized to get their weapons as well.

Default-user-icon Danny B (Guest) 01 April 2014, 17:03

Who vandalize holy places? ask the Muslims. in Afanistan who blew up the ancient Budhah statues ? in Timboktu? in Syria who burned churches? in Egypt how many churches remain? in Saudi Arabia how many churches built ?
and in Lebanon during civil war how many casualties been that time?

Default-user-icon Cedarthegreat (Guest) 01 April 2014, 17:40

Who said Geagea considers it a friendly state? Too much hatred not good for the soul ya Southern... Move on and learn to accept and respect that difference of political opinion does deem the other a traitor... Those that live in glass houses should not throw stones...

Thumb FlameCatcher 01 April 2014, 17:46

Why do you say that Southern ?

If you're against Hezbollah weapons, this doesn't make you pro-Israeli or pro-Saudi !

Some people (the vast majority of Lebanese) simply do not care about your Iran / Saudi / Israel / US mutual jerk-off ! All we care about is a country free of weapons and peace with our neighboors.

We're not going to solve the Palestinian problem nor the Syria civil war. It's not our role, it's not our job ! We already have to live with the consequences an Hezbollah's dangerous game has only made things worst bringing more Syrian refugees than ever into Lebanon.

All we want is Hezbollah to become a normal Lebanese party without any weapons. Is this too much to ask ? What do you want in return ? What is the price of your weapons ? Everything has a price but I fear Hezbollah's price is total control of Lebanon !

Thumb zahle1 01 April 2014, 19:44

I agree that if you are against HA arms, and their involvement in Syria does not make your pro-Israeli. And the Israeli state is part of the problem if they are not prosecuting the assailants who are doing these crimes.

Regarding Geagea stating that Israel is a friendly state, is this a fact? Do we have a quote? I would say that most LF people in private do trust or consider them in ally but only because they believe it will get them further against the Assad regime.

Me personally I don't trust Israel, and support relations of respect, but they need to give us our water and land back first.

Missing phillipo 02 April 2014, 08:26

I would think that 90% or more of the Israelis are against this vandalism.
zahle1 - As the waters in the rivers run from north to south, exactly what water do you want back? As the UN states categorically that Israel does not occupy a single square centimetre of LEBANESE territory, what land do you want back?

Thumb zahle1 02 April 2014, 15:07

phillipo, there is no doubt that there are disputed boarder areas in the south and southeast, their fences keep changing. There is not a consensus around this. Also, if you talk to folks from areas like Saghbine and Mushgarrah, they will tell you that Israel is diverting water from the Litani...via underground pumps...and so on. If you are a northerner you may not know that. I am not talking HA propaganda but pro-M14 people who proudly fought in our military can even vouch for this...I'm saying pro Lebanese Christians from these areas are aware. If you are not aware, then ask around your network about this. You will find someone from this area.