Cars were vandalized in the Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa overnight, police said on Friday morning, in a possible so-called “price tag” hate crime attack by right-wing extremists.
Cars belonging to residents had their tires slashed, and a nearby wall was spray-painted with the words “price tag” and “Kahane was right” — invoking the name of slain far-right Israeli activist Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Kahane was the founder of the Jewish Defense League in the US and the Kach political party in Israel, for which he served as a member of the Knesset before the party was banned as racist by Israeli law in 1988.
Kahane promoted the idea of annexing the West Bank and forcibly removing the Arab population. He was killed by an Arab gunman in New York in 1990.
“Price tag” refers to vandalism and other hate crimes carried out by Jewish ultra-nationalists ostensibly in retaliation for government policies perceived as hostile to the settler movement. Mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases have been targeted by nationalist vandals in recent years.
The acts have been condemned by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.
Forensic investigators collected evidence from the site Friday and police said they were investigating.
Beit Safafa straddles the Green Line, with the majority in East Jerusalem and part of the neighborhood in West Jerusalem. From the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 until 1967’s Six Day War the neighborhood was divided between Israeli and Jordanian control, and a two-foot high barbed wire fence ran through it.