The Conservative Movement's Moreshet Yisrael Synagogue in Jerusalem was defaced Monday morning by unknown vandals who painted Stars of David with swastikas in their centers on a welcome sign. In a previous incident several days ago, the synagogue was defaced with graffiti reading "Smelly Americans!" and "Americans Out!"
“Smelly Americans!” “Americans Out!” Star of Davids With Swastikas Deface Conservative Synagogue In Jerusalem, Government Does Nothing In Response
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Conservative Movement's Moreshet Yisrael Synagogue in Jerusalem was defaced Monday morning by unknown vandals who painted Stars of David with swastikas in their centers on a welcome sign.
This is at least the second vandalism of the Conservative synagogue in the past few days.
"We have been here for more than 40 years, we have no enemies and I have no idea who is responsible for this, but it's clear that these are Jews who are against the Conservative movement. The cross [sic] inside the Star of David aims to express their perception that our praying at the synagogue, wearing a skullcap and studying Torah are just external acts, and that inside we are evil.…This is a disgraceful act which must shock all the people of Israel. The fact that someone can draw a swastika inside a Star of David on an Israeli synagogue means that we are no longer on the edge of a slippery slope. We are in a free fall. It's time for self-examination for those rabbis who preach anger and hatred instead of the love for the Jewish people,” Adam Frank, the congregation's rabbi, told Ynet.
The same sign was also vandalized last weekend with anti-American graffiti and calls to drive the Conservative congregation out of the neighborhood and similar graffiti was found another day, as well. The slogans included “Smelly Americans!” and ““Americans out!”
Meanwhile, moderate haredi Member of Knesset Rabbi Dov Lipman visited the Conservative synagogue and was shocked to learn that he was the first (and apparently still the only) government representative to reach out to the congregation after the vandalism, Arutz Sheva reported.
While there, Lipman reportedly spoke with Frank and expressed his commitment to do everything in his power to prevent further incidents like this from happening.
“As an Orthodox Rabbi I must condemn this incident. We have ideological disagreements with other streams of Judaism and there are difficult issues that we have to work out. But we have to make sure that we treat all as fellow Jews and embrace them as members of the same family," Lipman reportedly said.
After the visit, Lipman returned to the Knesset and condemned the lack of government response to the attack from the Knesset floor.
“There are times when I feel that the incitement towards these streams comes from our house, in the Knesset. I call for a zero tolerance policy and for all of us to unite in making all Jews feel at home in Israel,” Lipman said.
In response, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that "we have to make sure that things are not said in the Knesset which then leads to hatred and violence in the streets."
However, Edelstein did not address the lack of reaction to the synagogue vandalism from government officials.