Suspect in Yad Vashem graffiti indicted
Elhanan Ostrowitz tells police he wanted to bomb the Knesset.
One of the three men who were arrested last week for painting anti-Zionist graffiti on Israeli memorial sites including Jerusalem's Yad Vashem was indicted on Tuesday and ordered to remain in custody for three more weeks.
Police said Elhanan Ostrowitz, 31, of Bnei Brak, told investigators that he would have bombed the Knesset building, the Supreme Court and several army bases had he the opportunity to do so. They said the admission demonstrates the gravity of the public threat posed by Ostrowitz. Ostrowitz also reportedly acknowledged receiving money from a person who supported his actions.
Two other suspects who were arrested at around the same time, including one Avraham Ben-Yosef and a minor, were released to house arrest.
After a previous court appearance following his arrest Ostrowitz called Yad Vashem a "hypocritical Zionist institution" that selectively presents the history of the Holocaust and conceals what he called "the fact" that "the Zionists essentially wanted the Holocaust" to happen and sought to gain "political capital" from the events.
Ostrowitz's father, Ehud Or, told Haaretz he was angry at his son over his "extremely unethical" actions, for which he should be punished. The defendant's lawyer, Yair Nehorai, said after the detention hearing in Jerusalem Magistrate's Court that although he condemns such acts they are not illegal.
The police said the vandalism took place over a period of three months. The first incident was in April, when Ostrowitz allegedly sprayed anti-Zionist slogans and an image of the Palestinian flag on two military memorials in the Jordan Valley. According to the charge sheet he and four other people drove a rented car to one site, where he painted the flag. The group then defaced a second memorial, bearing the names of Israeli war dead, with slogans such as "Zionists out."
Three days later, the indictment states, Ostrowitz sprayed the Ammunition Hill war memorial in Jerusalem, with slogans including "Shimon Peres is Amalek," equating Israel's president with the quintessential Bible-era enemy of the Jewish people. Another slogan read "Gunter Grass is strong and brave," in a reference to the German writer who has been publicly critical of Israel.
On the night between June 10 and June 11 Ostrowitz allegedly went alone to Yad Vashem after examining security arrangements such as the placement of security cameras and guards. He then According to the indictment, he prepared 21 slogans in advance that he planned to spray around the site and about 3 A.M. he entered the grounds and began painting statements including "If Hitler hadn't existed, the Zionists would have invented him."