Synagogue Desecrations Plague Central Israel
by Gidon Ben-zvi
A number of synagogues located in the center of Israel have been vandalized over the last week, Israeli news outlets reported on Friday.
A synagogue located on the Sirkin army base, near the city of Petah Tikvah, was recently trashed, Israel’s Channel 2 said. IDF soldiers serving on the base were stunned to walk into the house of worship to find ripped up Bibles thrown across the floor and anti-Semitic slurs spray painted on the walls.
Right after the crime was reported, military police as well as senior IDF officers rushed to the scene. Most disturbingly, it is now believed that at least one Israeli army soldier was involved in the desecration, Channel 2 said.
Soldiers serving in Sirkin reacted with outrage to their synagogue being violated. “Whoever did this has committed an offensive act against Judaism,” one soldier told Channel 2. “It’s incomprehensible that something like this could take place on an IDF base… It’s nothing less than an affront to our entire value system,” the soldier fumed.
According to the IDF spokesperson, the incident is currently under investigation.
Another act of vandalism was perpetrated against two Jewish houses of worship in the village of Ezer, located in Israel’s Lachish region, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Friday.
A worshiper who entered one of the local synagogues on Friday morning discovered that the Holy Ark had been removed from its place and the Torah scrolls had been torn up and left scattered across the floor. Similarly, other ritual objects had been tampered with, Ma’ariv said.
Similar damage was also inflicted on another nearby synagogue, this one located in a trailer.
Police forces under the command of Kiryat Malachi station commander Chief Superintendent Sammy Marciano hurried to the area to search for the perpetrators of the twin sackings. Additionally, forensic teams were brought in so as to collect physical evidence from the crime scenes, Ma’ariv reported.
Superintendent Marciano said that, “This is a serious case, and at this time all leads are being pursued so as to track down the suspects.”