Tel Aviv Synagogue Vandalized in Protest Against Jewish Nation-state Bill

The words 'In a place where nation-state laws are passed, books will be burned,' were spray-painted on the wall of the Tel Aviv International Synagogue.

Moti Milrod

The Tel Aviv International Synagogue, which caters to English-speaking Jews, was discovered vandalized Sunday, police said. The words, "In a place where nation-state laws are passed, books will be burned," were spray-painted on the wall surrounding the synagogue. A pile of burned books lay nearby, but police said the books were not holy books.

The synagogue's Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn said in a statement that the vandalism was "a clear act of anti-Semitism," adding that he believed it was the work of radical leftists.

The controversial Jewish nation-state bill, which gives Israel's Jewish character precedence over its democratic character, is being advanced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and heatedly opposed by left-wingers. Some 1,000 people gathered outside the Prime Minister's Residence Saturday night to protest the bill.

The act of vandalism follows immediately on the arson and spray-painting of anti-Arab graffiti Saturday night at a mixed Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem.

The Tel Aviv International Synagogue, located on Frishman Street, draws hundreds of mainly English-speaking immigrants and tourists to its Friday night services.