Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90
The Trappist Monastery in Latrun.

Vandals set fire Monday night to the front door of the Trappist Monastery in Latrun, in the Ayalon Valley. The monastery walls were graffitied with “Jesus is a monkey,” names of the evacuated outposts “Maoz Esther” and “Ramat Migron,” and the slogan “Mutual liability,” Walla reported.

Jerusalem District Police established a special investigation team to examine the case. Police said that they suspect that this is a response to the evacuation of Migron on Sunday.


Right-wing politician Baruch Marzel responded to the arson this morning, saying: “We said that the evacuation of Migron could ignite the fiery rage of an entire community which is feeling bitter.”

Marzel added: “I hope that the government and the Supreme Court will refrain from measures which only increase the polarization in the nation and lead to ‘price tags.'”

Price Tag is a campaign of right-wing activists to avenge anti-Zionist acts on the part of government officials, academicians and people in the media, usually by inflicting some damage to their property and leaving next to it the slogan “price tag.”

After evacuation of Migron, Judea and Samaria Police District Commander Major General Amos Jacob said he feared an increase in the number of Jewish “terrorism” in response.

“The IDF Command and the police are prepared, not only because of Migron. We experience ‘price tags’ after every evacuation, so it’s not something special. I guess you’ll see an increase in the ‘price tag’ events, and are preparing for it,” Major General Jacob said.

The Trappist monastery, the “Monastery of our Lady of the Seven Sorrows,” is inhabited by men only and located in Latrun, off the highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Some 20 monks over the age of 21 reside there. The monks avoid needless speech as part of their spiritual work. In the past, monastery policy included a vow of complete silence.

One of them must have broken his vows to call the cops Tuesday morning.

In the past, “Jewish avengers” have been falsely accused of carrying out “price tag” attacks as a convenient ploy by Arab perpetrators. And several media outlets have been known to portray incidents as “price tag” attacks, without as much as a shred of evidence.

In May, 2011, Israeli police arrested several members of the Israeli-Arab Bakri family from Jaffa under the suspicion of plotting to kill an Imam in the Hassan Bek Mosque in Jaffa, and to make the murder appear as a “price tag” attack by Jews.

Israeli settlers were accused by an Arab farmer of burning his 12 sheep alive. B’Tselem turned the story into a major campaign against settlers, trumpeted via Haaretz and other pro-Palestinian Israeli outlets. But when the farmer told police the religious settlers had come in their cars to set fire to his sheep, and it happened to be on Shabbat, he lost all credibility and finally admitted he himself had caused a blunder that ended up trapping his ewes.

And last March, two Bedouin teenagers in Beit Zarzir confessed that they were the ones who had damaged a school for Arabs and Jews, spraying on the walls “Death to Arabs,” “price tag,” and” “Holocaust to the Arabs.”

Obviously, I’m not supporting vandalism, but my government does, openly – against the legal Jewish residents of Migron who, as of Sunday, are homeless.

As to the graffitied allegation regarding Jesus being a monkey – I’d like to hear more about that. Also, in Hebrew the word Kof, used in the graffiti, stands for monkey as well as ape, and also the letter K. Perhaps this was a literary-minded reference to Jesus K., an allusion to the protagonist in Kfka’s “Trial.”

But seriously, folks, do you see a logical connection between the Migron atrocity and burning the door of a relatively harmless bunch of silent monks? Where is the natural connection? Does it make sense that some kids decided, Oh, man, they evacuated Migron? Let’s go to the Trappist monastery in Latrun and give them a piece of our mind!

Those kids must really be random thinkers, to follow the police logic. I mean, it borders on art, it’s Theater of the Absurd, it’s something Grandpa Dali and Grandpa Bunuel would have embraced with joy. How a transfer of Jews in faraway Migron ends up as a crime of vandalism against silent monks in Latrun.

Frankly, I think it was some Arab kids. My friend Y. pointed out that it’s Arabs who assign monkey slurs to non-Muslims. All day long with them it’s the Jews are monkeys. A Jewish hill kid just doesn’t think in those terms. I’m telling you, Monkey is an Arab insult. If a Jewish kid had written it, it would have probably said: Jesus is an Arab.

Note the spelling of the name — not a Jewish spelling! We spell it Yesh”u or Yeshu..

They also spelled it “Yeshua” which is the Arab-Christian way of spelling that man’s name. We call him Yeshu.

I will release my findings as soon as I conclude my investigation, at about the same time the cops show theirs…


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Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth,,, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


  1. Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet of theirs also so I think it is not likely since they would in a sense be doing profanity against their own prophet and religion. They would probably choose something else than that statement. Hopefully the "kids" part is right and the hate crime is not by adults.

  2. “I hope that the government and the Supreme Court will refrain from measures which only increase the polarization in the nation and lead to ‘price tags.’”.

    This is so beyond the pale that I can't believe a supporter of Israel would say it. Israel's opponents have been saying for years that Israel needs to refrain from measures that increase the polarization in the region and leads to terrorism. We cannot be held hostage to the threat of terrorism, from any source!

  3. Muslims use the word monkey a lot, plus the spelling of Jesus name is the way Arabs spell it.Most hilltop kids are religious and can't imagine any who I know doing this. A price tag pay back has been expect and publicised in press , which could inspire Muslim radicals to do this.Israel needs a new Defense Minister and to stop its war on Jewsish settlers.

  4. who cares who did it. the christians are bitching because of some vanalism? they should be kicked out of israel altogether, they are poison to the jewish people. the vatican has the entire world to preach their garbage crap to! should we forget how they tortured us, broke our bones, killed us even after their sick forced conversions on our people, young and old, women and children? even today they do all what they can to convert young jewish people who don't know any better. we should never ever forget the pain that the nations have inflicted on us, now its our turn. get rid of them.

  5. I am very sorrowful to read Roc's post. Many individual Christians I know dearly love Israel and hold the Jewish people to be the source of everything they cherish. They are steeling themselves to stand with Israel and the Jewish people in the times that are coming. All the evil against the Jews has been done by wicked people who infest every human endeavor, be it religion or politics or business, esp. the institutional church in collaboration with the evil governments of their times. Please forgive us for what our forebears did to yours and don't let bitterness against us change who you are. And if a Jewish person does come to believe that the one called Yeshua of Natzeret is their Messiah, that does not steal them away from the Jewish people. They are not "converted." Isaiah prophesies that the very best of the goyim shall carry back the Jewish people to Eretz Israel, and shall serve them. I believe we are in that day. There are millions out here like me.

  6. Dear Eliza — We love you back and are touched by the sympathy Jews receive from U.S. Christians. But our religions are diametrically opposed to one another and we find the entire Jesus discussion deeply unpleasant and disturbing. We really want nothing to do with it.

    Don't get me wrong, we don't think you shouldn't have your beliefs. At least one of our greatest teachers — Maimonides — has suggested that Christianity, like Islam, represents an essentially Monotheistic view and therefor is valid for gentiles. But we have no interest in either its teachings nor its practices.

    But, again, we are amazed by the love so many American Christians are expressing to the state of Israel and to Jews. This has never happened before in our long history.

  7. eliza, im glad that you like the jewish people, but we needed the kindness of our neighbors many years ago when we were living in france, spain, poland and other countries and the christians voilently drove us out for no reason. today its really no different. germany outlawed circumsion recenly, most other countries like spain and france are anti-semetic and are actually attacking us. at this point we dont want your appologies, symathy for the past or your "brotherly love".

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