Yet still more attacks of Christian Arab property lead to formation of Israeli task force

(Jerusalem Post)  It was only this summer, June 18, 2013 to be exact, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reported by the Jerusalem Post as having condemned “price tag” attacks in Abu Ghosh, saying that the discriminatory actions of those responsible for vandalism of this type were contradictory to the values and people of Israel and Judaism.  

His words were true.  Yet very little has changed.  In fact, things having gotten worse; even since Sunday.  In the last three days, there have been three separate attacks on Christian Arab and Muslim property that included graffiti, destroyed grave stones and heavy vandalism to cars.  According to the Post, “The latest incident occurred Tuesday morning, when five cars were vandalized on the outskirts of the Old City, with the words ‘price tag’ graffitied with spray paint on one of the vehicles, Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.”  So what is to be done now?

Israeli authorities have created a special task force to aggressively address this growing problem. Words and threats were obviously not enough to deter the criminals.  
The Jerusalem Post reports that “Rosenfeld added that the special task force was also implemented in each district in the country, coordinated with police headquarters, to address the spike in ‘price tag’ crimes.  Israeli police patrols have been stepped up to prevent and respond to these serious incidents which have caused tremendous damage not only to the intended targets, but also to the communities where they took place.”  Will it be enough?

Israeli authorities think so.  The Post says that authorities “’see eye to eye on the need for more serious steps to be taken [against perpetrators] of such attacks.'”

They added that “they ‘see the severity of price-tag attacks seeping into Israel, and the danger inherent in damaging relations with Arab-Israelis.’”

Participants at the meeting discussed harsher steps to deter such incidents, including legally defining ‘price-tag’ incidents as acts of terror, according to sources.”

The story is different from some Palestinians, however.  We read in the Jerusalem Post that Meretz councilman Meir Margalit said last month “that he and his constituents are dissatisfied with the response of both the government and the police.

‘This is something that happens every day in Jerusalem, even if the news doesn’t cover it,’ he said. 

‘It has become routine in Jerusalem, especially in the Christian Quarter.’ 

According to Margalit, police reaction to such crimes has been selective and decidedly ineffective. 

He added that his primary concern is that leaders within the capital’s security establishment are not making substantive efforts to curtail the pattern, despite rhetoric indicating otherwise. 

‘The fact is that this happens again and again, many times in the same places,’ he said. ‘Something more needs to be done.’”  

And indeed it does if a just peace is to be reached between Israelis and Palestinians.