Solidarity with Latrun Monastery Following Price-Tag Attack

13 September 2012 By Ruby Ong

13 September 2012


Spread the Light: Together Against Terror was the
theme of the Light Tag inter-faith meeting

Various delegations from the NIF family were among a stream of Jewish visitors to the Latrun Monastery in the Jerusalem foothills last week after the monks were the latest victims of a "Price Tag" attack. The Jewish extremists scrawled "Jesus is a Monkey” on the walls of the Trappist Monastery and set fire to the ancient wooden door of the building.

The name of the illegal West Bank settlement of Migron, recently evacuated by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), was also daubed on the wall. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other cabinet ministers quickly condemned the incident. But as in previous Price Tag attacks against mosques, peace activists, and even IDF bases, Israeli police have yet to arrest the perpetrators.

Rabbi Mauricio Balter, a member of NIF grantee Masorti (Conservative) Movement who visited Latrun in the wake of the attack said, "The month of Elul is a month for asking forgiveness, but how do we ask forgiveness for such a horrible incident? Does Jewish history, with all of the persecution that we Jews suffered because of our faith, give us the right to persecute others? Absolutely not."

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of NIF grantee Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) led a delegation to Latrun and said, "As a rabbi and as an Israeli citizen I am ashamed today and I am deeply troubled by the fact that this is not the first time that such an event has taken place in Israel. We need to make sure that the other faiths, other communities feel secure here."

Last Wednesday evening, the NIF supported "Light Tag" (a play on words for “price-tag”) coalition held an inter-faith solidarity concert at Latrun attended by 500 people. Light Tag activists pay a solidarity visit to every site where the Price Tag terrorists strike.

During the event the "Prayer for Peace in the World" was recited in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. "May it be Thy will, O God and God of our ancestors, that Thee banish war and bloodshed from the world and bring a great and glorious peace into the world. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall no longer practice war."

A major feature about Light Tag was published in the popular Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot following the event by award winning journalist Nachum Barnea.    

Father Louis Wahabeh, one of the monks at the monastery, said, "We were very surprised, and impressed, and it was with great happiness that we discovered such people. They told us that they were pained and embarrassed over such actions and that they came to stand in solidarity with us. This gave us much happiness.”

He added, "The attack caused us terrible pain in our hearts, but we also know and are sure that this small group of extremist terrorists is not representative of the Israeli people."