Israel Must Fight 'Price Tag' Violence, ADL Says After Mosque Attack

U.S. Jewish leaders join to condemn torching of Tuba-Zangariyye mosque; Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America: Jewish history is proof that such actions are 'beyond the pale.'

Israeli society must make it clear that so-called "price tag" attacks are unacceptable, Anti-Defamation chief Abraham H. Foxman said on Monday, as Jewish American leaders condemned an attack on an Upper Galilee mosque.

The Tuba-Zangariyye mosque was set on fire Sunday night, and its entire interior went up in flames, causing heavy damage, including to holy books inside.

Graffiti with the words “price tag” was found on the wall of the mosque. Israel Police said they have arrested several suspects involved in the mosque arson, but did not disclose any details.

Northern District Police Commander Major-General Roni Atia who was on the scene described the incident as “very serious in the context of ‘price tag’ attacks.” Atia has set up a special team to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Abe Foxman, AP
AP / Corrado Giambalvo

In a statement released in wake of the mosque attack, national director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham H. Foxman said on Monday that his group joined "the leadership and people of the State of Israel in expressing shock and outrage at this heinous attack."

"However, as we have said after the attacks on West Bank mosques in recent months, Israeli society must do more," Foxman added later in his statement, saying that there had been "too many 'wake-up calls' about the violence and hatred among fringe groups of Israeli Jewish extremists."

"Israeli society must make clear that violence is never acceptable, whatever the grievance, whatever the issue, and must continue to reinforce this core value of Israeli society," the ADL chief said.

In another statement by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the group's president Simcha Katz and vice president Rabbi Steven Weil condemned "the reported acts of vandalism, in which Israelis are alleged to have entered a mosque and set fire to it, destroyed holy objects and wrote hateful graffiti messages on the walls. There is no justification for such actions."

"Jewish synagogues and holy sites, in Israel and across the globe, have been similarly vandalized and desecrated over the course of history and, thus, Jews should know very well that such actions are beyond the pale," the statement said, adding that it supported "the efforts of the Israeli authorities to investigate this matter and bring those responsible to justice."