The profile of Christian-haters is found at the seam between ultranationalist racists and religious-theological groups. To date, no arsonists involved in setting fire to religious sites have been caught, but the Jerusalem police has some experience with those who spit on priests in the alleyways of the Old City. Some come from extreme-right circles, with an ideological origin in religious-Zionist groups. Others, meanwhile, are haredim from the margins of ultra-Orthodox society, who read one too many books about Christians and missionaries in their childhood.
Ha'aretz has a weak news analysis purporting to explain why Israel Police have had such a hard time solving church and mosque arsons and other "price tag" hate crime attacks:
…The profile of Christian-haters is found at the seam between ultranationalist racists and religious-theological groups. To date, no arsonists involved in setting fire to religious sites have been caught, but the Jerusalem police has some experience with those who spit on priests in the alleyways of the Old City. Some come from extreme-right circles, with an ideological origin in religious-Zionist groups. Others, meanwhile, are haredim from the margins of ultra-Orthodox society, who read one too many books about Christians and missionaries in their childhood.
These two groups connect in Jerusalem. The former bring with them their violent methods of operation; the latter the theological seal of approval. Along with the familiar groups, figures from Israel's periphery, easily influenced young people with social problems, are also drawn into the conflagration. The Shin Bet is most concerned with members of the last group, who are not known to intelligence organizations and are more daring than more experienced agitators.…
In the past, there has been very little Shin Bet surveillance of anti-Christian activists. Prior to the visit of Pope Francis in May 2014, however, there had been comprehensive intelligence work to locate activists with violent intentions, based on fears that they would undermine the visit.…The work done at the time is now bearing additional fruit.
Of the three cases of arson at places of worship [so far] in 2015, two were on churches: one was the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem; the other, last week, the Roman Catholic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, near Tiberias. The authorities don’t know whether this is a coincidence or a new trend. [There have been many previous attacks on churches and mosques in West Bank, almost all believed to have been committed by hard right-wing Jewish settlers, one of the groups Ha’aretz mentions above. So why police would be in any way legitimately befuddled by this new church arson is wholly unclear. – FailedMessiah.com]
In private, they distinguish between attacks against Muslims and Christians, aside from the ethical aspect. There is a fear that harming Muslims will arouse a revenge attack. With the Christians, the fear is of harm to Israel’s image overseas. Fortunately for Israel, the eyes of the world were on a different church last Thursday, in Charleston, where nine African-American worshippers were murdered in a different type of hate crime. Few people took interest in the fate of the Galilee church.
The investigation into last Thursday morning’s incident at Tabgha is the responsibility of the Judea and Samaria District Police’s nationalist crime division. This unit handles hate crimes from all over the country – with the exception of Jerusalem, which also has a division for hate crimes, albeit with far less manpower. To date, the Judea and Samaria unit hasn’t succeeded in solving a single attack on a holy site. However, senior department officials claim to have created a significant deterrence factor among young people.…
Statistics show there has been a decline in interracial/interreligious violence. That all goes up in flames, though, when a major Christian church is torched.
The fact is, Israel only began to somewhat seriously investigate these attacks after the US State Department criticized Israel for its lack of enforcement of the law and its failure to protect minority religious institutions from attacks by Jewish extremists.
But even with this now-stepped-up enforcement, police essentially solve none of these crimes, not because the perpetrators are so diabolically smart and clever (they are not), but because police do not really try to solve the crimes because many police officers hate Christians and Muslims almost as much as the extremists do or minimize the attacks as minor incidents carried out by young Jews who have simply taken Judaism's view of non-Jews a bit too far. And successive Israeli governments headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have not made this aspect of law enforcement a priority for the same reasons. Israel's judiciary, at least on its lower levels, have tended to treat these attacks in much the same way, which has only emboldened the attackers even more.
If the Government of Israel wanted these crimes solved, most would be. And if the people of Israel wanted it, many of the perpetrators of these crimes could be sentenced to significant prison sentences.
But there is no political will to do this and the average Israeli, while he or she may disagree with the attacks, sees them as minor incidents far removed from their daily lives, and doesn't much care what law enforcement does about them as a result.
That same attitude was common in Germany when the Nazis began persecuting Jews before the mass slaughter of Jews began, and it was and remains commonplace wherever minority populations face persecution. It takes concerted effort by the government along with a lot of grassroots work by members of the majority and reporting by the media to change the attitudes that allow this type of apathetic behavior to triumph for things to change.
So far, Israel has shown that it has neither.