Israeli right-wing activist Sheffi Paz documented herself, alongside another activist, vandalizing the European Union Embassy in Israel on Sunday.
Paz and the other activist spray-painted hateful English-language slogans in red paint, which read: “EU get out” and “German money kill Jews” (sic).
The Israel Police stated that it has launched an investigation into the incident. Paz admitted to vandalism on embassy premises, and handed herself over to police.
Paz is a former member of the Meretz Party and a prominent lesbian activist. She heads the South Tel Aviv Liberation Front, a group that fights for the total deportation of asylum seekers from Israel and in particular from their neighborhood.
Yamina Chairwoman Ayelet Shaked announced last week that she signed a deal with Paz, according to which she will only enter a government on the condition that tougher legislation be promoted against migrants. Shaked also stipulated her entry into a coalition on the establishment of special courts that would handle migration issues and which would not accept appeals.
The former justice minister has yet to publicly comment or condemn the incident involving Paz.
Staffers from the embassy, formally known as the EU Delegation to Israel, gave the police footage from the building’s security cameras. They also filed an official complaint to the Foreign Ministry.
A spokesperson for the delegation said that no diplomats were present when the incident occurred, since the office, located in Ramat Gan, is closed on Sundays. “This incident aiming to intimidate the EU and its personnel is deplorable and should be condemned,” the spokesperson added.
Over the past several years, right-wing politicians and activists, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have assailed the EU’s financial aid to Israeli human rights organizations. Yet at the same time, the EU allocates sizable funding to joint projects with the Israeli government.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz responded to the incident on Twitter, writing: "I am appalled by and condemn the disgraceful vandalism of the EU Mission in Israel. Israel is committed to maintaining the security of all diplomatic missions. The Israeli police are investigating the case, and I expect the culprits will be swiftly brought to justice."
Multiple European ambassadors condemned the incident. "That is deplorable indeed," the Austrian ambassador to Israel, Martin Weiss, said, "In spite of all innovation, the pill against bigotry and stupidity hasn't been invented yet."
The German ambassador to Israel, Susan Wasum-Rainer, also responded, stating:"I deeply regret the act of vandalism against the EU office in Tel Aviv & fully support our EU-colleagues who will continue to work in close cooperation with the German and the Embassies of the other EU member States for the benefit of Israel & relations between Israel and the EU."
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