Settlers from Migron condemned the anti-Christian and pro-settler graffiti found on the door of a monastery early Tuesday morning. Police believed the act was a response to the evacuation of West Bank outposts earlier in the week.
Graffiti sprayed on the Monastery of the Silent Monks at Latrun read “Mutual responsibility Ramat Migron, Maoz Esther,” the names of two wildcat outposts frequently uprooted by Israeli forces. Another graffito read “Jesus is a monkey.” The vandals apparently also tried to burn the door.
“Damaging any religious building, in Migron or anywhere else in the world, is something not to be done and morally wrong,” a spokesperson from the Migron community said.
The Ramat Migron outpost was built on a hilltop next to the Migron outpost, which was evacuated this week after years of legal wrangling.
Officials believed the incident was part of radical settlers’ “price tag” campaign of vandalism, in retaliation for the evacuations.
According to the Ministry of Tourism website, the Trappist monastery served as a way station for pilgrims from Jaffa to Jerusalem in the 19th century. Until 1960, its rules included a vow to refrain from idle talk and to uphold silence at all times except during prayer.
The monastery sits across from a major museum of the IDF’s Armored Corps, in recognition of significant battles that took place there, along the main road to Jerusalem, during the War of Independence.