Threatening graffiti was spray-painted on the Jerusalem home of a longtime board member of Women of the Wall.
Some of the graffiti sprayed late Sunday or early Monday on the door and stairwell of Peggy Cidor’s apartment read in Hebrew “Women of the Wall are wicked,” “Peggy, your time is up,” “Peggy, we know where you live,” and “Jerusalem is holy,” according to the Women of the Wall.
The words “Torah tag” also were spray-painted on the apartment door in an apparent reference to the phrase “price tag” used by extremist settlers and their supporters. The phrase describes retribution in the form of vandalism for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian attacks on Jews.
It was the first incident of its kind targeting Cidor, who has served on the Women of the Wall board for 15 years. Police are investigating.
The rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, condemned the graffiti in a statement released to the media. He called on “all fanatic groups to remove their hands from this holy place.”
“I have warned against the conflagration and gratuitous hatred,” Rabinowitz said. “I pray and hope we can check the escalation and that a solution will be found that allows the Western Wall to remain not as a disputed area but as holy ground that unites and unifies.”
The Women of the Wall in a statement called on haredi Orthodox rabbis to condemn the attack. – JTA News and Features
Representatives protest Fatah official’s support for murderer
A bipartisan group of congressmen have sent a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, condemning comments made by a Fatah official in support of the murderer of an Israeli father of five, and calling for that official to be removed from office.
The May 15 letter strongly condemned Fatah’s Sultan Abu Al-Einein following his “open support for the murderer of Evyatar Borovsky.”
Al-Einein called the terrorist a “heroic fighter,” according to the letter, which was signed by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Ed Royce, (R-Calif.), Nita Lowey, (D-N.Y.) Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
Al-Einein also stated, “Blessings to the breast that nursed Salam Al-Zaghal,” according to the letter.
The congressmen told Abbas that “allowing this type of incitement and hatemongering to take place within your ranks is intolerable if you are truly dedicated to non-violence. We ask that you publically and officially denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein’s remarks at once and remove him from his position in your government.”
Borovsky, 31, was killed as he waited for a bus at the Tapuach Junction. Al-Zaghal then took Borovsky’s gun and began shooting at Border Guard officers.
Earlier this year, the Tapuach Junction checkpoint was closed as part of an easing of restrictions on the Palestinians.
– by Suzanne Pollak
‘Keep anti-Semitism on U.S.-Hungary agenda’
A dozen Jewish organizations have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing their concern over the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary.
The May 14 letter commended Kerry for his offices’ recent human rights report that detailed the rise of the xenophobic and anti-Semitic Jobbik Party and encouraged Kerry “to keep the issue of intolerance and discrimination squarely on the U.S.-Hungarian bilateral agenda.”
The Jobbik Party has called for the creation of a list of Jewish public officials and labeled Jews a national security risk, according to the letter, which also asked Kerry to raise this issue personally in any dealings he has with Hungarian officials.
There have been attempts toward “rehabilitation and glorification of World War II-era figures, who were openly anti-Semitic and pro-fascist,” the Jewish leaders wrote.
“We view U.S. leadership as indispensable to the advancement of human rights,” the letter writers noted.
Signers of the letter included representatives from Agudath Israel of America, American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah, HIAS, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Federations of North America, NCSJ, the Rabbinical Assembly, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Simon Wiesenthal Center, World Jewish Congress and World Jewish Restitution Organization.
There are more than 100,000 Jews living in Hungary today.
– by Suzanne Pollak
Cigarette-smuggling Palestinian linked to murder
One of 16 Palestinians arrested in a cigarette-smuggling ring was linked to the 1994 murder of yeshiva student Ari Halberstam in a terror attack on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Muaffaq Askar, who was arrested late last week in New York in a plot that is believed to have cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue, has long been suspected of supplying Rashid Baz with the guns he used to attack a minivan full of yeshiva students. Baz reportedly called Askar his “Palestinian uncle.”
Halberstam, 16, was killed in the bridge attack.
“I was very well aware of Askar since my son was murdered and the role he played in my son’s case,” Halberstam’s mother, Devorah, told the Forward. “I know he’s been traveling to Jordan back and forth like a free man with my son’s blood on his hands.”
Baz, an immigrant from Lebanon, shot at the minivan on March 1, 1994, reportedly in retaliation for the murder earlier that year of 29 Palestinians at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron by a Brooklyn immigrant to Israel, Baruch Goldstein.
According to reports, the proceeds from the smuggling scheme are believed to have gone to support Hamas and Hezbollah.
– JTA News and Features