Poraz ‘repulsed’ by cases of Jews spitting on Christians

Poraz ‘repulsed’ by cases of Jews spitting on Christians
By Relly Sa’ar, Haaretz Correspondent and Agencies

Ha’aretz, Israel
Oct 13 2004

Interior Minister Avraham Poraz issued a strongly worded statement
Tuesday against incidents of Jews spitting at Christian clergy in
Jerusalem, saying he was “repulsed” by the repeated attacks.”

Poraz was referring to the most recent case of such behavior, when a
yeshiva student spat at a cross carried by Armenian archbishop
Nourhan Manougian in a procession on Sunday, police said. A fistfight
broke out, during which the archbishop’s medallion, worn by Armenian
archbishops since the 17th century, was damaged, and the archbishop
slapped the yeshiva student. The student was arrested, and the
Jerusalem District Court subsequently banned him from approaching the
Old City for 75 days. The archbishop was questioned by police.

Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said that the last such case handled by
police was more than two years ago, but Christian clergy complain of
frequent harassment.

Poraz called such behavior by ultra-Orthodox Jewish students
“intolerable,” and asked Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra to
“take all the necessary steps to prevent these incidents in the
future.” Poraz also expressed his dismay to the heads of the churches
in Israel and noted “Israel’s commitment to freedom of religion.”

Armenian officials charged that Israeli authorities were not doing

“When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the
Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride
are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” Archbishop Nourhan
Manougian told Haaretz.