June 18, 2013 – New York – Following the overnight acts of vandalism in Abu
Ghosh, AJC urged Israeli authorities to further intensify efforts to apprehend
and bring to justice the perpetrators of the so-called “price tag” attacks.
Vandals slashed the tires of 28 cars and spray-painted graffiti stating “Arabs
out” in the Israeli Arab village near Jerusalem.
Abu Ghosh is the latest Arab community in Israel and the West Bank targeted by
vandals who have left damaged property and hateful, threatening graffiti on
cars and walls. Israeli police suspect that Jewish extremists are responsible,
using vandalism to express opposition to Israeli government policies they
consider pro-Palestinian and anti-settler.
“Whether these despicable assaults are organized or one-off acts of
hooliganism, price tag attacks are threats to Israeli democracy, and every
effort must be made to put them to an end,” said AJC Executive Director David
Harris. “Targeting Abu Ghosh, historically one of Israel’s most peaceful and
friendly Arab villages, illustrates the malicious aims of the perpetrators.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu, condemning the attack, said “what happened today in
Abu Ghosh goes against Judaism’s mitzvot (commandments) and against the values
of our people and our state.”
"We couldn't agree more with the Prime Minister," Harris added.
Israel political leaders across the spectrum condemned the attack, and conveyed
empathy to the mayor of Abu Ghosh. At the same time, the attack came a day
after the Israeli Cabinet failed to designate “price tag” attacks as acts of
The terrorism label had been pressed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Internal
Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, and the Shin Bet. The Cabinet decided to
label ‘price tag’ attackers as an illegal organization.
"'Price tag' attacks are terror acts for all intents and purposes,” said
Aharonovich, after the incident in Abu Ghosh. “This phenomenon might bring
about a serious deterioration in Jerusalem and the West Bank."