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Ultra Orthodox Vandalize 1600 Year Old Synagogue Mosaic

Part of the Israeli Mosaic and Synagogue that was damaged

Recently we had Pat Robertson giving sanction to the destruction of Buddha statues. Now we have a slightly different and bizarre case of desecration. A suspected group of Ultra-Orthodox Jews have vandalized and caused “irreparable” damage to a rare 1600 year old mosaic in an ancient synagogue. They seem to be protesting archeological digs that they claim involve ancient grave sites.

If this group of vandals had been Muslim one surely would have heard of it all over the news. Discussions about the irreconcilable nature of Islam and modernity would infest the looniverse.

What if they were Muslim?:

Israel Zodiac Mosaic: Vandals Damage 1,600-Year-Old Art At Synagogue

Diaa Haddad (AP)

JERUSALEM — Vandals badly damaged a rare 1,600-year-old mosaic in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias that formed the floor of an ancient synagogue, smashing parts to rubble and scrawling graffiti, antiquity officials said Tuesday.

Experts suspect extremist Jews who object, sometimes violently, to excavations they claim involve ancient grave sites. There was no claim of responsibility. Police are investigating.

Guards found the damage on Tuesday morning, said archeologists involved in the site.

The mosaic, dating 400 years after the birth of Jesus, was one of the best preserved and beautiful of its period, according to archaeologists.

It featured illustrated zodiac signs and the traditional symbolism of a fourth-century synagogue: ritual candelabras and palm fronds. The synagogue’s ruins, including its ancient mosaic floor, were in a fenced-off area of a national park in Tiberias, next to the Sea of Galilee.

It listed the names of the synagogue’s chief patrons in ancient Hebrew, Latin and Greek.

Israel Antiquities Authority deputy director Uzi Dahari said a fringe group of ultra-Orthodox Jews were suspected of causing the damage, much of it irreversible. Dahari said the graffiti scrawled across parts of the archaeological site and previous threats against the Antiquities Authority suggested they were the perpetrators.

Photographs issued by the Antiquities Authority showed parts of the mosaic floor reduced to gray chunks of rubble. Other photographs showed blue spray paint scrawled over the mosaic, covering ancient Hebrew and Greek letters spelled out in blue, red and beige tiles. Graffiti was also scrawled along rock walls beside the mosaic. Perpetrators also punched a hole in the mosaic between two candelabras.

“On every grave, a site,” one neatly written Hebrew slogan said.

ferred to constant accusations by a tiny Jewish hard-line group that the Antiquities Authority was digging up Jewish graves. Disturbing Jewish graves is a deeply offensive act for devout Jews.

Archeologists said they have found similar graffiti on other sites. The Hebrew word for “site” is also shorthand for an archaeological site, as in English.

An archaeologist who frequently works in the Galilee area, Gilad Kinamon, said ultra-Orthodox Jews frequently turned up to his sites to demonstrate against his work.

“It was the best of Jewish art of its time, of the late Roman and early Byzantine period,” said Dahari. They … destroyed what was in front of them without thinking,” he said.

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  • Al

    @ Lawrence,

    That’s why I brought up the Buddhas, to show the double-standard of westerners, so f*** you too, buddy!

    I’m actually glad the students destroyed the Buddhas as the international community wanted to fund their restoration but didn’t want to clear the Russian land mines and provide food for the starving Afghan children. The Taliban said a big piss off to the west with their skewed priorities and for that, I salute them! But mostly only that action deserves support. The rest of it isn’t Islam but Khwaraj misinterpretation…

  • Columnist

    The Ultra-Orthodox are a cancer that eats away Israel from within. They breed, but do not contribute to society. Israel can only be saved when the Jew gives up his religion, and converts to mine. Those who stay in their old religion will be dhimmi’s.

  • deccal

    @Malachov nice trolling attempt.

  • Maaz


    So what did Muslims do for Jews? by Professor Wasserstein, Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University.

  • That is quiet shameful, and guys lets not forget in the United States, a serial “Arsonist” (Can’t call him a terrorist unfortunately- may not be Islamic) has set fire to a women’s clinic, and has been terrorizing these clinics for a while now.

  • Khalid

    The is reprehensible action perpetrated by moral maggots – whether your religious view differ or not is irrelevant, something that reveals itself to be so ancient is not special to one religious minority but part of the collective human heritage.

  • Lawrence of America

    @malachov and what if it was christian graves? or muslim?

  • Malachov

    This mosaic was without a doubt harmful, especially considering that it involved digging up Jewish graves.

    I fully support the actions of these devout individuals, and hope to G-d that they continue on with their quest.

  • Pingback: Ultra Orthodox Vandalize 1600 Year Old Synagogue Mosaic | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • Lawrence of America

    @AL RE:The point of the Article is that if it were muslims who decrated x,y, or z ( no matter how fringe) all Muslims would be blamed. Much like the point of your RE:.
    thank you for displaying your bigotry.

  • Al

    re: Buddhas of Bamiyan

  • mindy1

    Oh that is so wrong to try and damage history 🙁

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