Anti-Jewish graffiti at Yad Vashem
The declarations and content of the slogans spray-painted at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial have led the police to believe that ultra- Orthodox extremists are behind the vandalism perpetrated Sunday night.Now it is possible that Islamofascists committed the crime and were trying to divert suspicion. But sadly, it is also possible that some so-called Hasidics may have pulled the horrific vandalism too, and that any of this kind of sentiment could be prevalent anywhere in the community is cause for concern.
Below one of the slogans spray-painted at the site, the vandals signed off in the name of “World Haredi Jewry.”
The content of the graffiti, including conspiracy theories about Zionist collaboration with the Nazis, is also consistent with the beliefs of some radical anti-Zionist elements within the haredi community.
Shmuel Pappenheim, a former spokesman for the anti- Zionist Eda Haredit organization and a follower of the Toldos Aharon hassidic dynasty, criticized the incident but said that it was impossible to know who was behind the vandalism, adding that only someone mentally ill would carry out such vandalism.
Pappenheim, a moderate within the community, acknowledged however that there is a significant number of people within haredi society who agree with the kind of sentiment sprayed on the Yad Vashem campus, that early Zionist leaders ignored the plight of Jews in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust for political purposes.
The sentiment behind other incidents of this nature that have occurred of late, is in keeping with ideas held by the extreme anti-Zionist Natorei Karta sect and similar groups.
In April, a monument in the Jordan Valley to fallen Israeli soldiers was spray-painted with the words “killed because of the sin of rebelling against the nations.”
Natorei Karta believe that a passage in the Talmud forbids Jews from “rebelling against the nations of the world” and from going to the Land of Israel en masse (without divine sanction).
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, was extremely hesitant to apportion blame for Sunday night’s incident and pointed out that the possibility exists that it was carried out by anti-haredi provocateurs.
He said however that the slogans do reflect the ideological sentiment of sectors within the haredi world diametrically opposed to Zionism, and constituted “classic anti-Zionist haredi rhetoric.”
Zuroff added that accusations of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis was particularly pronounced within Natorei Karta, but that these ideas had also been disseminated in mainstream haredi yeshivot.
“These are ideas which have been talked about in the haredi community for years,” Zuroff said, adding that “they have no basis in fact."
Based on these notes, shouldn't there be some kind of educational inspection carried out to see if and where anti-Zionist sentiment that borders on anti-semitic and even condones nazism takes place, and work on combatting it? Zuroff is quite right to issue a wake up call, because this kind of demonic thinking is dangerous to have around.
Update: Holocaust survivor Matityahu Droblas is also outraged by the vandalism.