Israeli police were yesterday looking for members of an extremist ultra-orthodox Jewish group they suspect of spray-painting virulently anti-Zionist slogans on the walls of Jerusalem’s Holocaust museum.
Slogans discovered yesterday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre included: “Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust”, “If Hitler did not exist, the Zionists would have invented him”, and “Jews, wake up, the evil Zionist regime doesn’t protect us, it jeopardises us”.
The overnight vandalism at Yad Vashem brought a wave of condemnation. “I am shocked by this callous expression of burning hatred against Zionists and Zionism,” said Avner Shalev, the museum’s director. “This is an offence to the memory of the Holocaust.”
Gideon Sa’ar, the Education Minister, said: “Whoever desecrated Yad Vashem with these awful messages did it to offend the public’s feelings.”
Police combed the nearby Jerusalem forest from where they suspect the vandals launched their raid, while forensic experts examined the graffiti.
Some ultra-orthodox groups subscribe to the belief that the Jewish state should not be formed until the coming of the Messiah. But only a small minority condemn Israel, and a smaller one still subscribes to the conspiracy theory that Israel’s founders colluded with Hitler to establish the state.