It’s an act of vandalism, it’s a crime, it’s against everything that the Jewish people stand for as a country and as a democracy.

(Communicated by the Media Adviser to President Peres)

President Shimon Peres commented today on the recent vandalism attacks against religious sites in Israel:

"It doesn’t matter whether Muslims, Christians or Jews – it’s an act of vandalism, it’s a crime, it’s against everything that the Jewish people stand for as a country and as a democracy. We have to make sure that every citizen and every home will be a safe place, but we carry also a spiritual responsibility and a historic one. One which means that everyone can pray to the lord in his own language, from his own prayer book, and that every holy place is holy for all of us. We have to make it secure, safe and respected.
 
I wanted to tell all our citizens, Muslims, Jews – because there were some attempts also to violate synagogue – and Christians, that it is the responsibility of the Israeli government to assure their holiness, to assure the easy approach to them, to assure the respect for every holy site. I am sure that our police will apprehend all the people who did this, the criminals, and we shall not let them walk free."

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At the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting (9 October 2011) PM Netanyahu said:

"We have recently witnessed attacks on Islamic sites, a Christian site and a Jewish site – a synagogue was attacked. We are not prepared to tolerate any vandalism, especially that directed against religious sensitivities. The State of Israel is both a tolerant state and a very intolerant state.
 
Our tolerance is toward religious sensitivities and our need to continue living together in coexistence and mutual respect, without violence, in tranquility and peace. Our intolerance is directed toward those who oppose these practices and this way of life. We will act with all vigor to find them. I have instructed the security forces to bring those responsible to justice. We will act against them to the fullest extent of the law."