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Attack against Christians

Stone thrown at stained-glass window of the 'Room of the Last Supper' causes damage in latest anti-Christian attack

Harassment of Christians continues to be a problem in Jerusalem

The damaged window of the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, Jerusalem (Photo: Screenshot of video by Gadi Dahan)

A stained-glass window in the Room of the Last Supper (Cenacle) on Mount Zion was damaged on Sunday by a stone that was thrown at it by a Jewish man.

The window dates back to the Ottoman period. 

Police arrested a Jerusalem resident in connection with the act of vandalism, whom they say was under the influence of alcohol at the time. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered the man to be released under restrictive conditions. 

The incident happened one day before a conference entitled: “Why do some Jews spit on Christians?” was to take place. The gathering was organized by the Center for the Study of Relations Between Jews, Christians and Muslims at the Open University of Israel in Tel Aviv and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Following complaints from several officials from the Jerusalem municipality, the conference was forced to move to an online format.

According to Israel's Haaretz news, aides working for Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion threatened to fire the director of the Tower of David Museum if the conference were held there, as per the original plan.

While the mayor’s office officially denied the report, the conference was forced to change its venue, moving to an online format using Zoom. 

Conference organizers invited officials from Israel's Foreign Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality but none of them attended.

The Foreign Ministry’s lack of attendance at the event drew the attention of several Hebrew news channels, which noted that the ministry is the main governmental body to oversee relations with Christian organizations, as well as connections with various Christian denominations and the State of Israel. 

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Arieh King, who called for protests at the Pentecost 2023 event near the Temple Mount, denounced the conference as “anti-Semitic.” 

Jerusalem’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a letter denouncing the conference. 

“The Tower of David Museum is inviting the public with seeming innocence to presentations and discussions, which was apparently arranged by those seeking to eradicate religion,” Amar claimed. He also condemned the museum for being open on Shabbat and called on Jews to boycott the museum. 

Just two weeks ago, Rabbi Amar published a letter condemning the attacks on Christians, including spitting, saying that such attacks “are completely forbidden.” 

Yaska Harani, one of the conference organizers, said the purpose of the gathering was “not to offend or come out against the ultra-Orthodox society. The goal is really to rid the city of the spitting.” 

She commented on the stained-glass window incident, noting, “I really don't care if he was drunk," and said that perpetrators of such incidents are almost always “in an outstanding situation.” 

For several decades, Catholic and Armenian priests have complained about incidents of harassment by ultra-Orthodox Jews, including spitting, shoving and kicking. 

Christian leaders have expressed concerns for their overall safety and have been critical of police response, saying that authorities tend to downplay the incidents in order to "remove themselves from responsibility.” 

One local Messianic leader whose wife was assaulted during the Pentecost 2023 event said the police report they filed was closed “due to a lack of evidence," even though there was a police officer present who witnessed the attack and provided assistance. In addition, the couple was able to provide a photograph of one of the attackers.

"We were pleasantly surprised that the policewomen in Jerusalem were so zealous to find the attackers but we received word that after less than two weeks they are closing the case," Ron Cantor told All Israel News.

"They said they could not get the security footage from the Davidson Center. I don’t think they interviewed the tour guide, who was an eyewitness, or the police officer who rescued my wife."

Cantor also said he thinks the lack of effort is due to his family's identity as Messianic Jews.

"This lack of effort to protect a Messianic Jew is what we expected," he said. "I believe that if any other 58-year-old, native-born Israeli woman was attacked like this they would seek to bring the perpetrators to justice."

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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